That time when Deon was mad at the fucking world

Oh, I remember it like it was… oh wait, it’s RIGHT FUCKING NOW.

It’s my own damned fault.  I chose this shit.  Or, is it the rage before the darkness and despair that’s probably around the corner?  Or is it the edges of the darkness and despair hurricane already fucking here, bringing some lovely rage along for the ride?  FUCK.

I chose this wife, I chose this family, I chose this job, I chose every ounce of the tons of shit that is this life, and I chose to allow all of this bullshit, and I chose to leave things alone rather than risk fucking it all up, and to try to work hard as I could at making a go with what I chose.  It’s not fucking working.

It’s going to be a great weekend.

Mrs M is going to visit her ailing mother and her panicking father.  She’s experiencing the thing that eventually killed her mom, so that whole family is unnerved, exacerbated by the fucking idiot doctors who are doing their best to extract as much money as possible from the patient and family before finally killing her by not providing the treatment needed, but testing for everything.  Sadly, I know about the proper treatment.  It is uncomfortable and she has to quit taking blood thinners for a bit.  But if they don’t either fix the symptom to allow her body to heal itself, or do the treatment, I’m afraid my mother-in-law is going to die.  And right now, they’re not doing shit except watching her die with morbid curiosity.  “Oh, hey, how interesting!  Look at that!”  Fucking ghouls.

I’m not a doctor, so I have no idea what considerations they are working through while pretending to care and pretending to be busy while pretending to be deciding how to treat while deciding not to treat the symptom, which is, she’s dying while they’re hemming and hawing over other options. Ass holes.  With treatment, one of my friends with the same damned symptoms a while ago is now alive and well, but these doctors are thinking, “she’s old; let’s take the family for a ride down the financial shitter and then just let her die.”  My friend is 30 years younger, so they kept her alive so she could pay them out the ass, which I can only imagine they left bleeding money from the barbed-wire wound instruments they shoved up there to insure continued payment.

Insurance is bullshit.  You pay for insurance so you can get treatment by copay per visit, or copay and percentage of cost, or copay and whatever in-suck-rants bureau-craps decide they don’t feel like paying for out of what you’ve already paid them, and then you can’t afford it or coverage is denied, and then you die, and leave your family destitute after bankruptcy proceedings.  Cheaper to just stay home and die without treatment, which is my current procedure.  It’s a matter of time, which it is for everyone else.  I’m not encouraging the process, but I’m not discouraging it either.  If I don’t go I don’t have to pay more than my premium as required under fucking Obaminationcare’s law, which, by law, won’t help me with my situation but helps someone else help themselves to an extra $2600 a year more than I was paying before it became lawful pickpocketing.  Fucking thieves!

My solution to insurance is to make it fair, a flat percentage tax-style rate based on income, regardless of pre-existing conditions, and then if you need to go to the doctor, or the dentist, or the optometrist, you should be able to schedule it and go, without all the extra bullshit out of pocket expense, sweating about what’s covered and what’s not, and if you need medicine you should be able to get that as a part of your coverage, and if you need to see a specialist that should be covered too.  But that would eliminate a lot of high-level insurance company bullshit, and probably put a lot of high-paid ass holes out of jobs.  They’d never stand for my plan.  Imagine, making doctors, pharmacists, specialists, drug manufacturers, and all the other medical people just work, and figure out how to fight it out for their share of the pot!  And if it isn’t all spent at the end of the year, the tax rate goes down because people are too healthy.  They’d have to figure out how to agree, and maybe treat people for costs and maybe a little extra for the staff.  That’ll never happen; not while there are yachts and fat retirement plans and their kids’ college expenses and nice houses and divorce payouts to consider.  They wouldn’t like my definition of the word “malpractice,” either.  That’s not entirely the doctor’s fault, not all the time.  Sometimes malpractice is forced upon a doctor by an idiot insurance adjuster.  Murder wouldn’t work- they’d just find another fucking cog to turn in the machine, with an overactive “coverage denied” stamp.

Mrs M is going to join the family’s emotional playground, so she’ll come back still worried, all emotional, and in all ways exhausted.  And she’s dragging my son, who’s actually helpful when pushed a little, with her.  My daughter has to work, so she doesn’t feel obliged until Mrs M or I push her buttons or take away her devices or indicate how thoroughly unhappy we are.  Sometimes we have to do that to motivate both of them.  I don’t have the energy, it’s easier to do all of the shit myself.  But today, one of them put away dishes I washed and the other folded towels I washed, so that’s progress.

Speaking of button pushing, I had a call today from an automated collections service regarding our internet access, among other things, asking for a modest sum.  And a late amount, for fucks sake, when I trusted Mrs M to fucking pay it on time or tell me about it.  I called the lovely Mrs M., to inquire about it.  She said I should just call and make a payment.  Famous last words, for me.  Because really, anything that starts with “just,” should instantly alert me that things are going to hell fairly soon.

I called them back to make a payment and got a fucking “payment was declined,” from the beautiful-sounding computer voice. “Just” my fucking ASS.  Yep, I blew my stack, the stack hit the ceiling, and my rage pushed it all the way up there, past the ceiling, to the pain.  She’s busy saving money because she wants to go on vacation somewhere this year, and she’s the one with all the monetary control, deciding what’s in savings vs what’s available to pay bills.  If I had married the bank computer, I’d probably have enough to “just” pay the fucking bill.  But Mrs M is softer (sometimes) and warmer (occasionally), than a rich computer, so I chose Mrs. M.

This episode followed yesterday’s button pushing session, during which I sat silently while Mrs M informed me of upcoming expenses that she believed would completely overload our current budgetary considerations and I’d just have to get another job soon, as if jobs were just hanging from trees to just pick one just that fucking easily.  So I just already had a trigger and just let it just fester, and then today I just had another trigger and it just hit the bulls eye and just set me down this really dark, angry pathway.

And it’s my own fault.

Because why can’t I “just” get another job?  Other people can.  Other people can skate through life, jump from job to job, getting raises and earning enough to pay for shit they need.  And I have always chosen options wherein the end result is insufficient, and I am insufficient, and I am worth more if someone rich kills me on the highway so she can sue everybody than if I just keep my current status quo.

We’re encouraged to explore possibilities in life, up to a point.  And after that point, we start getting told “it is what it is,” without allowing or encouraging us to ask WHY “it is what it [fucking] is,” or why we can’t fucking FIX “what it is,” which is, “broken.”  Except it isn’t “broken,” according to some people, because they can get it to fucking work, after several tries, therefore it “works.” which is a lot different concept of working than I want to fucking hear.  Insurance and medical practice isn’t “broken,” in much the same way, and yet people who pay for insurance can’t afford medicine or treatment because it’s not covered under their plan because the insurance companies want everyone to just die so they can pocket the premiums, if they weren’t required to pay the doctors and pharmacists their pittance.  SO yeah, obviously THAT’S not broken, is it?  Nor is my sarcasm generator. (and may it never be!)

So, what’s undeniably broken, is ME,  and my budget, and “it is what it [fucking] is,” so if someone wants to step in and fix what’s fucking broken, that’d be great.  Stop telling me to “just” do anything when you should know damned well I “just” can’t,  Stop telling me to “just” get another job unless you fucking “just” know a recruiter who’s dying for someone with my skills, and stop telling me to “just” get two jobs because I don’t want to encourage the above process of death by cardiac stress, I already can’t afford to attend to and have no desire to push toward.

It’s my own damned fault.  I chose this shit, every last bit of it.  Obviously, I’ve chosen depression and stress as a lifestyle.  Statistically, the reasons reported for divorce are pretty standard sounding, and there wasn’t anything that surprised me here except the apparent overlap of multiple reasons why she might kick my ass to the curb.  Number one was, not working hard enough, and obviously, if she thinks I’m not working hard enough because why haven’t I just gotten a better (harder) job  that just pays more money or why haven’t I just gotten a second job already, then we’ve got a major fault line, and it’s my damned fault.  I mean, I haven’t had my first heart attack yet, for fucks sake, so what’s wrong with me?  And why am I not just fucking working harder?

If the marriage falls apart, does anyone know the number of that hot-sounding computer voice at the bank?  Does she like to have her dust blown out, or sucked out, or does she prefer being unscrewed and brushed out with a nice, soft brush, and then gently (or roughly) screwed?  Does she like power tools or a more natural, hands-on treatment?  If I can talk her into marrying me, I’d probably be able to pay my internet access bill, and maybe even a little medical and dental treatment too.  Anyone with the hookup?  What kind of cable would work?  Do you think she’ll reciprocate?  I mean, I don’t want to have to take matters into my own crossed wires and waste my energy jacking on.

The Evils of Daydreaming, Gambling, Using the Internet, and Other Social Sins

As the Powerball Lottery in my geographic region just went over $400M, I again started to daydream about winning that shit.  I bought a single ticket, because my chance is just as good as any other person’s chance.  And on Sunday we sang a praise song about how nothing on Earth is quite as good as anything in Heaven.  The message from the song was clear, the message from our pastor was clear, and in my notes I wrote it:  “Faith in God makes your perspective about our earthly struggles much clearer, but it doesn’t do shit about fixing them. You have to muddle through just like everyone else.”  Struggles, he might have just as well said problems, frustrations, disappointments,  pain, or whatever other “big picture” word you can pick.

On Friday night, I rested my sore ass after working hard all week at this same shit job, and doing a half-assed job with house work, because my back was twitching and unmedicated.  Literally, I hurt from back to legs, just enough to twitch when I tried to stand and walk.  And that’s just truth, not a complaint.  I endured, and that’s not a complaint either.  I’ll explain in a second.

At least I’m not a plumber, because then my shit job would be a literal shit job.  I don’t mind dealing with my family’s shit, but I really don’t want to deal with a world of shit.  So, I celebrated my tiny shit job ending for the week, and had a tall glass of lemonade while wishing my back would stop hurting.  If I had copay money, I might know a good chiropractor, but instead I tried stretching and waiting, because it’s cheaper.  On Saturday, I mowed a half-acre of grass and did some volunteer work, the completion of which were their own reward.  And I drove home from these tasks, took a hot shower, and rested my sore ass.  This time I had grape kool-aid, because we had finished the lemonade and I got to choose.  There’s still my quarter-acre and the other half of mum’s acre, so 3/4 acres to mow this week if I can fit it in.  And, at least I’m not a landscaper or mowing service, because having it as a job means that’s got to be done to earn money, and it was too hot to do anything Sunday.  Imagine being out in the hot sun all summer long and then, when the landscape business dries up with the spring and summer rains, you do something else to earn money I guess.  Engine repair, sharpening lawn mower blades… (“Mmm hmm…,” brain flashed back to Sling Blade’s Billy Bob Thornton character), driving a snowplow and hoping for snow, vs. the rest of us, wary commuters who are hoping the snow and ice only falls on the dormant grass and not the streets, sidewalks and driveways.

It’s barely summer, just getting hot enough to notice.  So, I’m still mowing grass, not shoveling snow.  I recall in prior, winter storms, when the snowplow played an amusing game with me.  I’d diligently shovel my driveway and sidewalk, and the plow would barrel down the street when I finished, and pile that shit off the street and onto my driveway and sidewalk.  Only the second round was packed down, and usually icy, so if I didn’t go right back out and shovel again, it would freeze and make my driveway worse than before I shoveled the first time.  I say, “amusing.”  I mean, something else.

And you know, with my personal mental issues, that in the moment of having to do the thing I just spent the time getting done right, a-fucking-gain, I was not particularly celebrating the opportunity.   I mean, I get cranky when my kids don’t do shit, which is all the time, I get frustrated when my wife doesn’t do shit I want her to do, which is all the time, and I get a good rage on when I do something and it falls apart and makes me repeat the process.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Tie my shoestrings, I knot the damned things and I’m still walking on sunshine the damned strings by the end of the day.  Bless my heart, my feet are different sizes, profoundly so, and I therefore can’t wear slip on shoes, they just fall off.   And I re-tie my shoestrings again.

Guess what?  The nature of life, I’m told, is that things routinely happen to cause people to have to, for example, re-tie their shoes, or re-wash a dish that accidently shifts from strainer to soapy water, or re-vacuum or mop a floor someone tracks dirt deposits on.  Well, to turn an urban phrase, “I ain’t down wit dat.”  I don’t even want to do it the first time, do NOT make me have to do it twice.  Or three times.  Imagine my consternation with throwing something in a straight line to the trash, from a foot away, and missing.  Three times.  I stand, my back hurts.  I bend.  My back hurts.  I pick it up.  I hover over the trash, release, it sticks to my finger the first time and misses.  The second time it hits the rim, and misses.  FUCK!  I mean, you can laugh, but my back hurts.

We are supposed to struggle, says my pastor.  Well, fuck that.  I get to a point struggling when I am broken, quicker than your average schmuck, and I want to quit.  We are supposed to endure.  I have that down to a science.  And yet, fuck that too.  I know he’s telling us the truth, but I don’t want it to be that way.  I don’t like being broken.  I don’t like struggling.  It’s most often not worth the reward I receive for struggling, at least not in this life.  He never did get around to telling us WHY we’re supposed to struggle and endure.  I do it for Mrs M and the kids.  I do it for a select few of my readers, you know who you are.  And I do it as a matter of personal satisfaction.  And maybe that’s the point.  “…patient [fucking] endurance…” (I just misappropriated Revelation 14:12, if you’re keeping score.)

My church seems to really have an issue with what I do with my money.  I watched my tithe check go into the offering plate, written by the lovely hand of Mrs. M. herself.  I need to mention it, because I know some people love to walk in smug self-righteousness, stand in the crowd of the proud holier-than-thou people, and sit in judgement. (I just appropriated Psalm 1:1, if you’re keeping score.)  Anyway, at the risk of inflating my pride, my “widow’s mite” of a tithe went in, not that it was very much.  But my $2 went for a lottery ticket, because there is a chance.  I myself took a dim view of the lady who claimed to have spent the month’s rent payment on lottery tickets back when it was a billion dollars.  Because that’s just dumb, even if it IS a billion dollars, what do you do when you don’t win?  Your landlord still wants that money.  Rumor has it she tried to crowd-fund, and almost got away with that except that she implied she’d do it all over again and this wasn’t a one-time impulsive dumb mistake that she learned from.

My bills have to get paid. Even the ones I rescued from a random box Mrs M stuck them in, in an effort to clean house, or in an effort to forget them.  I…. don’tunderSTAND!
Image result for james kirk
I …don’tunderstand!!

I like a clean house, don’t get me wrong, but don’t lose the house while you’re putting things “away.”  “Away” is not in a random box you plan to sort through when you get around to it.  The bill collectors do not care that you don’t know where it is or how much you owe, they just want to get paid.  “Patient [fucking] endurance.” (that’s two)  On the plus side, I found the fucking bill and put it somewhere it might be found in time to pay it.

Anyway, the point is, I try to be responsible with money, and get the bills paid as well as I can, and then I keep a tiny reserve of a few bucks a week to spend, sometimes.  Or give to the kids if they need a little money.  I don’t go out to eat, so I might buy a lottery ticket if the jackpot is ridiculously high.  Which is to say, anything over a few hundred million.  So yes, if you keep score, I wasted $2 last week, because my numbers were not drawn.  I’m wasting another $2 this week, unless I win, in which case you’ll change your tune and call it “investing.”  And bet me that even those sanctimonious, richer-than-thou pricks who caught lucky breaks and make boatloads of cash more than me, will turn from their pious down-nose-gazing judgement and be all chummy with me if I do.  And watch their stunned faces when I tell them to fuck off.  Along with the richie-riches who didn’t help me when I humiliated myself and asked them for help.  And the ass holes who put the shit on my credit report, not during the big financial crisis that led to the above humiliation, but after I worked my sore ass off and paid a little of that shit off, will be charged at least 30% interest if they want to borrow from me.  It’s almost as good as they offered, the bastards.

And the ones who actually DID help me will be paid back with interest, or given a gift and they’ll have to figure out what to do with it.

But yeah, gambling is evil, if it’s your addiction.  It’s not mine, because 1) the house always wins; and 2) I can’t afford to be compulsive about it; and 3) if I had the cash, I wouldn’t feel the need to take a chance on more.  Why would you bother?  I wouldn’t go to Vegas if you paid my ticket, room and board.  Because people lose their asses out there.  “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas[, and it keeps your assets there with it].”  If you throw your rent money, or your food money, at your bookie, that’s a problem and you’re going to have a bad time.

Speaking of time, I suppose it is fitting to confess, I’ve daydreamed about the lottery a few times.  Enough to plan a few things when I actually do win.  You’ll know it’s me from the dental implants, the practical, fuel efficient car, the ridiculous swag I give Mrs. M., the diligence to wrap up details I feel responsible for before quitting my shit job, and the gentle, non-bridge-burning ways I distance myself from certain people.  And the way I disappear from view, unless someone who cared about me when I was poverty-stricken needs something.  This, however, is a waste of time because I haven’t won yet.  Who knows what I could have accomplished, if I had harnessed that time in practical pursuits.

There will be wasted money if I win, but not a whole lot of it.  I’ll indulge, because I’ll be able to.

I was a little startled this morning when I went online from work, on the “guest browser” internet access.  The provider (not even my company, because the tightwads refuse to offer bandwidth to guest users from the company who are at lunch), refused to connect me to the lottery website and said the reason my request was filtered was “gambling.”  So I went on Twitter and found my answer there, stupid ass holes!  As an employee, I should be allowed to check on break or at lunch if I can quit my job, using bandwidth provided by my employer.  The only reason to not allow it is for people who will abuse it, so I get that.  As a guest browsing on your bandwidth, as a non-employee, what’s the reason behind filtering out the lottery website?  I should be allowed to check if someone won, just browsing as a guest.  I don’t get that one at all.  Unless you’re one of those holier-than-thou judges and you believe you’re protecting me from myself.  I’m a big boy now, and I don’t have mommy or daddy hovering over me while I take my chances at life, and I don’t need to be prevented from seeing if the lottery jackpot suddenly went down, so I can know whether to bother checking my ticket on the way home after working my sore ass off all day.

There are both practical and recreational uses for the internet, and we all know there is a lighter side to both, and naturally a darker side.  Farbeit from me to judge how you recreationally or occupationally use the internet.  You may well judge me if I “cast a stone. (Matthew 7 1-3, and John 8:7, scorekeepers)”  I recommend the lighter side, but I’m not going to stop you.  I know a certain blogger who knowing he’ll probably never meet anyone from the internet, has been known to casually be flirtatious.  He’s an ass, but intends no harm.  But if that’s sin, then that sin is out there for all to see, just like any other sinner’s “sin.”  I wonder if I’d use the internet more, or less, or differently if I won the jackpot and were free to do whatever I wanted.  I hope I’d work on my books and my blogs more.  But I can’t predict that; I can only hope.  There but for not having enough free time I might be the guy everyone looks down on for “sinful” internet activities.  You can’t do those things at work, because 1) eww; and 2) I don’t even know what that would be filtered as; and 3) even the lighter side of internet distraction gets filtered by my work computer as “entertainment.”  You can’t even do THAT at work, much less anything  “worse.”

In my bunker, guests can do what I can afford to let them do.  Have a beverage or a few, rest and recharge, carry on harmless flirtation, hide from the zombies, sharpen your z-whackers, practice your marksmanship.  Stay for dinner, stay for breakfast, in your own warm comfortable bed, by yourself, guarded by my lack of any real intention and Mrs M’s heretofore un-tested-but-surely-insane jealousy.  I don’t favor the commitment of crime, so you probably should do that in someone else’s bunker if that’s what you like to do.

When I win the lottery, that fucking bunker is getting built in a non-virtual, very secret and undisclosed location, by invitation only.  “And in the morning, Image result for shrek donkey meme
See?  I told you I was an ass.  But because I didn’t win yet, this past weekend, and I feel I need another shot at it, I’m going to waste another $2 tonight.  Just in case someone is still keeping score.  And when I win, quite a few of my daydreams will have to be prioritized and accomplished, because I do habitually daydream.  It’s cheaper than buying something.  I can’t afford to buy much right now, but when I can, I just might.  I hope I’m not compulsive, but deliberate and thoughtful.

Do I need this, want this, or is it a stupid impulse I’ll regret later?  Or, if I bought this and gave it to someone, would it be a blessing, or a waste?  I think those principles will make an excellent guideline for me when I win.  It’s funny, for all the judgement I hear from people who don’t participate moderately and conservatively in social sins, I don’t get enraged at having to buy another lottery ticket or at losing yet another $2 if I could afford to spend it and had it in my wallet and went to the store.  And sure, it’s probably a stupid impulse I’d regret if not for the happy daydream that chance buys.  Will I regret winning?  I’ll let you know, but I doubt it.  With the knowledge that gambling is viewed as a sin, I bet I’ll finally find out if that song is right.

Speaking of social sins, yesterday was so damned hot, that while I was outside doing yard work, I had a cold beer.  And when I finished working outside a few hours later, I had ANOTHER cold beer to cool off, and then a nice hot shower, and then fell into a nice restful sleep.  It brings me to this morning.  This morning, I did a stretch and felt my back adjust, and it took me a few minutes to realize my back wasn’t aching as bad.  So there’s another blessing.  Despite not winning the weekends’ drawing, I really did have a little “thank-you-God” party when my back popped.  On Sunday, I felt VERY blessed to have those cold beverages in my fridge, and even moreso when my back popped to correct itself. this morning.  If it hadn’t, I’d have figured out how to hobble to the car and drive my sore ass to work.  If I hadn’t had those beverages, then probably ibuprofen and more grape kool-aid, because it’s just good-tasting.  Since I had them, though, I’m probably bordering on alcoholism, if you’re keeping score of all my “sins.”  I’ve probably got several others if you are as perfect as the judgemental set are.
But so far, lying isn’t really one of the sins you can charge me with very much.

I really am making waffles on the day after I find out I’ve won the lottery.  The best damned waffles, EVER.

From Hyper-critical to I-Don’t-Give-A-Shit in 3 seconds

I don’t know if that’s the accelerator or the brake.  But I know that the right words, or preferably,  silence with the right actions, can motivate me to work my ass off.  And I know that the wrong words, because nobody ever just shuts the hell up, can put me into escape mode.  I’m already gone.  I’m already done helping with whatever concerned you.  The silent, unseen “fuck you” has already left my soul.  It doesn’t need to be said, in language, sign, sigh, or any other physical reaction.  I’d like to think it’s a private, psychic rocket ship, one that, most of the time, is far more efficient than any known technology.

Because of this, I think it’s an accelerator.  Sometimes I wish it weren’t psychic, I wish it were real.  It’s a rage rocket.  Instead of flames, it would release sonic energy.  “Impulse” power just goes, “Buhbye! Bye now!  Bub-bye! Buhbye!”   It ramps up through other rage-induced profane and/or snarky expressions, and if you really piss me off, full throttle goes “FUCK YOU!  FUCK YOU! FUCKYOU!!  FUCKYOU!!!FUCKYOU!!!FUCKYOU!!!FUCKYOU!!!

Say it.  Push my buttons.  And see what happens.  Except you presume you’ve done or said nothing wrong, and it’s me being batshit that causes me to be angry.  You’re not paying attention to yourself.  You’re not paying attention to me.  And when I told you what the issue was, you didn’t want to do anything about it, and my way of handling that rejection was to shut off that part of your part of my life.  You can still come back.  You don’t have to verbally apologize.  A non-verbal apology and promise will suffice.  But I don’t think you know how to not say it.

My problem  is I want to stay.  I want to come back.  I want you to come back.  I want my kids to know I genuinely care about them and I want them to return my care appropriately, but I can’t afford to buy that affection.  Thank God most of the time the kids have learned to read me, and know when I can laugh with them versus when what they say or do, or don’t do, will just piss me off .  I want my wife to know the same, but I can only offer so much, and there’s that trigger, more sensitive after almost 25 years of being married.  I’d think she’d know not to do or say those things in that way, and I’d think she’d know it’d be nice if she did something I liked once in a while.

It’s the same at work.  I want to work.  I want to work my ass off and make you a ton of money, but I need the favor returned here too.  Entry level wages and being ignored unless I’m being disciplined does not earn my respect NOR my extra hard work.  You pay me shit, expect my work to be shit.  And it would be if I had no pride in something I have to put my name on.  But my name is on what I do, so I want to do it right. You should want to do right by me in return.  After 10 years I’ve proven I’m worth it, and you should prove you want me to stay.

And it’s the same at church. You’d think with my training and volunteer experience, they’d maybe want me to work at the church, as more than a volunteer.  But no, I can volunteer or I can decide to do nothing.  So I’ve decided to do nothing and see if the doors open somewhere else.  Corporate America does not as a rule promote people who know what the fuck they’re doing from the inside.  They make them stay where they are and work them until they’re worn out.  Similarly, “modern day” “normal” churches do not recruit from within.   They find some superman who looks great on paper and has a more forceful presentation, and all the hidden agendas that go along with that kind of force.  Well fuck that.  If God wants to use me, He’ll set that up, and if not, well, here I remain and I think I have to be ok with that.

And it’s the same with God.  I want to have the best relationship with God, but I often fail.  Being the Creator He should know this and deal with me with a little patient and divine encouragement.  And you’d think my struggle with faith and doubt might be answered like it is with my earthly father- sometimes he’ll slip me a $10 or $20 for just being his son, which is really cool.  And lately, this whole relationship with God has actually improved.  I wonder if it’s because I quit trying to do anything.

People ask how you know when you’re in love, and they ask how to find a significant other/partner/spouse, and I think the answer is the same for some people.  If  you’re aggressive, you run after what you want and you take it whether it was offered willingly out of love, or whether it was just you being a pushy ass hole.  And you think you’re getting what you want, but really you’re just taking it.  I want to be given what I want, willingly and out of love.  And I want people to realize, without me having to tell them, that they’re selfish, grabby, pushy ass holes and they’ve been taking everything at my expense.  But I think you find love when you least expect it, and you wake up and realize you’re in love because you were falling long before you ever realized you had fallen.   I still haven’t figured out how to just get what I want at work, but with marriage it’s been a conscious decision, my choice.  Fuck, I still love her and she treats me like shit quite a bit of the time.  It’s because after I realized I loved her I decided I wanted to be in love and stay that way.

It’s naive and stupid and setting me up for heartbreak, people tell me.  And they say the same thing about believing in God.  But lately,

I quit trying to do anything, and God did some pretty cool things in answer to a pretty snarky prayer “request.”  Actually I was flippant and nearly in denial and He did answer, giving me something I really needed when it was needed.

So maybe this quitting doing anything would work for work, and for wife, and for family.  Except I like a clean house, a dog that’s been walked, a yard that’s been mowed.  I’m not sure which “anything” I need to quit and which I can keep doing, that’ll ultimately and miraculously result in me getting what I need from family and wife.

As it stands, I’ve got a dead cell phone because I didn’t demand we get more time/data yesterday when I thought I had a month left.  Kids don’t clean the house or walk the dog because they know I’ll reach a point of desperation where it’s too gross and needs to be done, or I know the dog is about to create a disaster if I don’t take care of him.  I’ve got nothing happening in other areas because I haven’t demanded that.  I don’t want to demand anything to get what I need.  I want to be treated with love and care and respect just because I’m worth it, but because I’m not demanding and pushy people take me for granted and treat me like shit.

So where’s the road sign from rage and depression and lack, bypassing forceful taking, and driving straight through to people just giving me what I need because I’m worth it?

If you know, let me know.  But right now I have to go buy a fucking phone card because mine is dead and Mrs M and the kids want to text me their list of demands.

A day without all this cloudy, grey, dam(n)p rain so I can mow at mum and dads would be great too, but that’s an appeal to a Higher Power,  Fuck it, if He wants clouds and rain, and rivers in my back yard, bring that shit on until He’s bored with that and moves on to sunshine and rainbows and unicorns and lollipops and neapolitan ice cream and remembering Buttercup, and other shit I might actually enjoy.  Same with the fucking job, and the family, and the church.   Maybe the rain has to fall and I have to be broke, and the job has to be shit and the house has to be filthy and my legs have to cramp until I can barely walk before I take the dog out, and the wife has to be off-putting and insulting and demanding, so I really appreciate when it’s finally sunny, and I finally win the Lottery AND the Publisher’s Clearinghouse, and I finally get a job I really enjoy, and my kids finally help clean the house, and finally make a habit of walking the dog and my wife greets me naked at the door and attacks me with all those soft, beautiful weapons.

For now it’s clouds and rain and cramps and abstinence and alcohol.  Bring it on.  I think I can still weather it a while.

It’s been a while since I thought of Buttercup.  I figure, if I just wait, and refuse to do shit, the rest of the clouds are sure to break soon.  (I know, but shut up and let me have my delusion!)


I’m starving.  I brought lunch with me and even a bit of breakfast, but I’m starving and I know why.

I’m starving because I need something.

Nutritional scientists try to tell me what I need, but my body tells me what I need.  The exact same is true with my brain.  Scientists with a motive tell me I don’t need what my body tells me it wants.  You CAN get enough protein and other nutrients without meat.  You CAN fool your body into thinking it’s full, some of the time.  I’m not good at self deceiving, and I’m aware of many specific foods you CAN eat more of to get a given nutrient.  I’m not craving or eating rocks and dirt and sand.  Well, I’m not eating much sand.  They put in my corn chips and other things and tell me it’s “silicon dioxide.”  I’m not an idiot; (shut up!)  I read food labels.  I’m also not craving bugs, but some genius decided there wasn’t enough red in my yogurt so they ground up a red bug and threw that in there.  Hooray for nutrition.

There are times when my body is very specific to tell my brain what it wants.  Weird?  Maybe, (shut UP!)  but I know when I need salt, a rare condition in the modern era when food scientists and manufacturers add salt to EVERYTHING.  Except salt.  If you get salt, it might have sugar in it, and it might have something to make it not stick to itself if you forget not to get it wet or leave it in the package too long, and it might have a tiny dose of a little something extra the food scientists forgot to tell us about, or it was too small for them to bother letting us know.  In the modern, mechanized, stainless-steel era, I don’t think I need sand in my corn chips, and I don’t think I need sugar in my salt, and I know damn well I don’t need fucking BUGS in my strawberry and cherry yogurt.  When I need salt, my head feels funky and I might get irritable. (SHUT UP!  I KNOW, DAMN IT!!) Um, more irritable than normal.   But what’s not to get pissed off about?  Food Scientist:  “Oh hey, here, have some bugs, you won’t even notice.”  Me:  “That’s gross.  ICK-kkcxxcoff cough.  Bleah.”  Food Scientist:  “While you’re at it, have some salt, with a side of high blood pressure and a slightly higher risk of diabetes.”  Me:  Fuck you.

I know people who have allergies to weird things- bananas.  artificial sweeteners.  monosodium glutamate (but it makes our food taste so good!  MMM, Chemicals!).  And the food labeling industry, thank GOD for that, makes manufacturers tell us if there are nuts or wheat or dairy or things that a lot of people are allergic to.  But they don’t make manufacturers CLEARLY state what the hell they’re putting in the food, as long as they say there’s something in there.  MSG, they literally are trying to hide that they’re putting that shit in our food.  They used to just call it monosodium glutamate.  Then they switched to MSG.  Now they can call it glutamic acid, food starch, yeast extract, or a host of other names that sound harmless.  But to someone allergic, that’s extremely dangerous deception.

I know, it “only affects a very small portion of the population.”  But why are you, food ingredient obfuscator, really trying to kill my sister, and MRS M, for fucks sake?  Fucking ass hole, if I lose either one and meet you I will strangle you with my bare hands and make it look like you suicided, you piece of shit.  Actually, my sister is the one who isolated her allergy to MSG.  Mrs M has some thing she’s sensitive to that we’ve only encountered in restaurant food.  Both keep benadryl and an epi-pen handy, because their epi-sodes seem to be worse each time.  There are other products out there, but not readily available because of certain “business practices” of the Epi-pen manufacturer.  For the Epi-pen, the gouger can take a $25 actual expense, counting labor, parts, assembly and shipping, and a modest profit, and charge people $300 for a dose, and they come in a two pack  Mrs M:  My lips are tingling.  Allergy attack!  (increasingly quieter whisper: )  My throat is tighten… hhelp- hhel-  hh-   ckkkk!!  Heather Bresh:  Want to live?  That’ll be $300 please!  Cha CHING!  Me:  FUCK YOU, you cold, heartless bitch!  Insurance:  We only cover a small part of that.  Me:  FUCK YOU TWICE, you fucking ass holes, I pay more than that in health insurance premiums, because it’s the law.  Congress (if you can imagine it, use Ben Stein’s voice, Buehler?  Buehler?) :  well, insurance IS the law, Mr Mumple, so good luck… And maybe try to be a little nicer, Ms Bresh, or we may revisit this issue at some futureblahblahblahblahblah.

Yeah we should do a class action lawsuit, anyone whose insurance premiums cover nothing for services that cost more than people can afford based on their incomes who have someone actually die because of money and not being able to drive to the hospital er fast enough, or call themselves an ambulance, with no oxygen for their brains.  It’s what they’re counting on- it’s hard to sue when you’re dead from no oxygen reaching your brain.  No oxygen reaches the brains of congress persons, because they’re talking it all away and not helping the constituency.  They need to shut up and reduce their own carbon footprint.  Talking makes greenhouse gases, you asses!  (bonus, POETRY!!)

Wait, rambling again, I was supposed to talk about what my body needs.  I’m starving.  I’m starving because I’m not getting something I need.  This is not just true of my cravings for lack of protein, it’s true of other things in my life.  Do NOT try to tell me I need more fiber to feel more full.  I am more faithful than Old Faithful in my regularity, and that, readers, is gross AND proof that I eat enough oats and oatmeal and shredded wheat and barley and lentils and rice and beans and other things that make you poop.  I’m starving, my body wants something else, not just fiber.  I strive to eat healthy foods and I do enjoy vegetables and fruit.  I get to a point where I’m bored with the minimal, and occasionally I crave a little something extra.

The extra my body most frequently wants, is meat.  For all my vegetable consumption, as good as that is, and for all my boiled chicken, there’s better and my body sometimes craves it.  Barbecued ribs (beef or pork), a good ribeye steak, fried chicken, lamb, goat, pork chops, fucking SQUIRREL, anything, something, made of M.E.A.T.  Sorry all you animal lovers.  And, sorry, most of you fast food dealers are in league with “food scientists,” and your “all-beef” burgers taste like a little low-grade beef, a little salt (and sugar probably) and a fucking ton of chemistry I don’t want.  A few too many restaurants, too.  And now there’s “genetically modified” foods with implications we aren’t aware of yet.  Shit.  Should this tomato ketchup be purple and glow in the dark?

Scientists have recently announced that depression causes increased activity in certain areas of human brains and may be caused by a lack of reward.  No shit, Sherlock, if I work my ass off for nothing, it’s fucking depressing.  If I clean house hoping for sex and she’s too tired, or if I do even more extra things hoping for even more extra things and I get rejected, it’s fucking depressing.  If I work my ass off for 20+ years and do a damned good job at doing my job, well enough to train other people or actually lead a team, and find out that I’m making what kids who just walked in off the street start at, and realize I’m still poor and I can never retire, it’s fucking depressing.  I need rewards to not be depressed.  I need enough money to feel valued and appreciated by my employer.

I need the money I pay for insurance to be enough to actually help me when I need help. Call me idealistic, but I believe I shouldn’t have to take out a loan (which probably gets turned down, by the way) to afford auto repairs just to keep my old crappy car running, or to get reasonable fucking dental care of reasonable quality, or a blood test.  A chiropractor might be nice for those occasions, once in a blue moon, when my back twists itself in an “alternative” direction.

It’d be a nice reward if my work could pay me enough to afford to keep on living, and maybe enough so my kids could go to college without all of us, student and parent, going into major debt.  Fortunately they’re brilliant and not as scarred by life yet, so they may get scholarships.  It’s my hope, anyway.  I know I don’t want to work until I’m 120 to pay off the debts, and finally retire.  Unless I get another healthy and wealthy 40 years and then die at 160, that’ll be fine.  But no, there’s no “reward,” so I’m depressed.

I don’t need a fucking “scientist” to tell me that I’m depressed, nor to tell me why.  I know damn well why.  I also don’t need a doctor or a laboratory to tell me I need vitamin D which does help with depression, or that my “bad” cholesterol has gone down since I’ve lost weight since I’m walking more.  I have to, or my dog will shit in my house, because my kids, who begged for a dog and promised to take care of it, won’t.  It’s fine.  The dog is just like me, so he’s mine.  He and I both need someone who cares about us, so we’ve got each other.

I would also feel rewarded if my education resulted in me being able to find a job in my field of training, but I couldn’t with my bachelors, and I couldn’t with my masters, and my schools didn’t help me with job placement, so here I am, writing when I can, when I feel ambitious and inspired enough, when I’m not bogged down with everything else that complicates and takes more time out of life.  It will please you to know, that under a nom de plume (how else would I do it) I am writing a book that corresponds to my education, so we’ll see if I can finish that and earn some money.  Or piss some people off, because that’ll be funny and raise publicity and maybe sell a few extra books.  It’s not THAT controversial, and I won’t tell you anything except if and when I finish it.  Sorry, the one that corresponds to my education is not an entertaining novel.  It reads like a weird sort of textbook so far.  I’m trying to make it personalized and friendly, but it is a scholarly venture, so sorry in advance.

It would be nice if that took off and went crazy and made me a million or so dollars. That would be rewarding, and I assure you, I’d be less depressed.  All you people who say money can’t buy happiness are investing it in the wrong place(s).  If your money is making you depressed, send some of it to my dentist, my doctor, and my chiropractor.  And if you have even more of that depressing money, send some to my butcher.

If you don’t have enough, I hope you can stretch it far enough.  And I don’t know if it’s any reward for you, but I think you bring something good to the world.  Keep bringing it. I hope you have a happy Friday, and figure out a way to reward yourself this weekend.


My wife, the lovely and talented Mrs M, is not just lovely and talented.  She is more often irritating to me than she is irritable at me.  I let a few people close who flip that, just not quite as close.  I figure if she’s patient enough to not have killed me in my sleep yet, she’s probably ok to have around.  The drawback is she can be annoying sometimes, most often when she’s reminding me of something she asked me to do earlier that I didn’t do yet.  She also dabbles in being opinionated and critical, most frequently when I either tried to do something and failed to meet her expectation, or when I didn’t even bother to try.  A guy I used to hang out with used to say, “Stay away from ‘puppy love.’  It’s the beginning of a dog’s life.”  As I recall, he was the preacher who officiated our wedding…  Thanks for the warning, pastor.  I kind of like this one, though.  Not sure if anyone else would put up with me as well)  She is also a savvy shopper, as smart as she is beautiful.

She can find random shit that comes in handy later, if we can find it when the need arises.  I have no idea how.  But I know why:  to give me more work.  The most recent example is a paper shredder.  What with identity theft becoming so prevalent along with hijacked computers and ransomware, it seems the fuckers who have nothing better to do with their time and genius decide to  harassing people out of their comfort zones and their cash through even less upstanding ways than say, politics, medical and dental insurance, contractor labor, car sales, car repair, human resource management, team management, or being a pastor.  In no particular order, these are probably the people who irritate me the most in life.  Anyway, that’s the reason I celebrate that she found, and purchased, a paper shredder.  Not only did she find an industrial quality shredder, but she found it at a garage sale, for $8.  It’s not a little crappy shredder.  We had the crappy model a while ago, and it fell apart screaming in agony and died.  The little teeth just couldn’t handle anything more than one sheet at a time. I’m not testing this one’s endurance, but I JUST priced this thing at between $70 and $80 online, and she bought it some time ago.

I’m working from home now, and I’ve been sort of cleaning here and there when I feel ambitious, and I ran across the stash of old things that needed shredding. She hasn’t run it, but there it’s sat, waiting for purpose.  I honestly don’t know why it wasn’t run, except she was waiting for me to do it. An enormous pile of paper was sitting over in the corner like something you’d see on an episode of hoarders.  Don’t get me started, or there’ll be another rant.  Anyway, I started, a little at a time, when I had time and my attention focused on that and not one of the other pressing things that MUST BE DONE IMMEDIATELY OR THE WORLD AND LIFE AS WE KNOW IT WILL END!  Like, taking the dog for a walk, lest he crap or mark his territory ON MY CARPET, which offends me almost as much as it offends Mrs M, but then, who cleans the fucking carpet? (I’ll give you five guesses and the first four don’t count, since there are now five living things in the house, and no, the dog hasn’t mastered scrubbing, he’s only got the spraying down.)    Or, taking out the trash lest Mrs M’s fragile sniffer should be offended.  (No, clearly, hers doesn’t stink, people, work with me here! I can say it, and I actually LOVE her.)

So, tonight, any stray and unpleasant aromas shall be covered in a layer of air thick with chocolate molecules.  Leave the deodorizing spray in the cabinet tonight.  Oh.  Don’t click play if you don’t like it, but HEY LYNYRD SKYNYRD! Wanna make a little extra dough? (Please say no, please say no, PLEASE SAY NO!!!)  This song would go well with a certain air- and fabric- and other- refreshing product.  (Please say no!)

That cleaning/freshening spray product, which shall be nameless but rhymes with something in the song title, works pretty well on carpets and the couch cushions.  I know because I don’t smell dog “markings” or  other dog issuances which have occurred.  Anyone else do that instant word dissection thing and notice that “cur” is part of “occurred?”  Just me?  I just don’t want them to play the song with fucked up lyrics to shill the product.  I’ve had enough of that.  Good songs get my hatred, and bad songs receive my loathing, when they’re sold to product-selling companies and overplayed until I’m saturated, which doesn’t take very long, especially whenever I hate the song to begin with.  That Lynyrd Skynyrd, though… my favorite of their songs today is  “Gimme Three Steps.”  A great story, woven skillfully into a poem, with a musical setting?  That’s my kind of thing.  I could write like that, for $10,000 a month, if someone wanted to hire me.  No, seriously, who wants to hire me?  (I may have to trademark that question, if someone doesn’t hire me soon.  Maybe a certain kind of cryptozoologically named company will pay me to use MY slogan.)

Mr. M probably still stinks, but we’re used to that.  And the dog needs a bath.  Maybe tomorrow.  Mrs M and the kids won’t do it, so that’s another thing the dog and I get to do together.  I hope the shampoo doesn’t irritate him.  But tomorrow morning I have to deliver more girl scout cookies, so task on task on task, before work, hooray again.  I wonder if he’d feel better, or bite the crap out of me, if we sat in the tub together while I washed him.  I grew up with cats, and I like that they bathed themselves.  I hope the trust we’ve built holds out.  Where’s my  swimming trunks?  And chain mail armor.  That suit will almost completely protect against shark bites. But who protects the sharks?

Holy shit.  Look at that cool Neptunic/shark logo emblazoned on her arm, and bonus, also on the top left side of the top.  They sell this suit, if you want to look this good before and after diving in the shark-infested water and not-quite serving yourself to the sharks like an hors d’oeuvre. Here’s the link you need, to read the entertaining article and if you want to buy one, email the sales team from this link.

Yeah, I don’t want a shark suit.  I’ll never, ever, willingly jump into shark infested water and play “feed-the-fishies.”  NE.  VER.  But I knew the suits existed, and I figured maybe including the photo would add a hint of something to my blog.  What’s the word for whatever that hint is a hint of?  Quality?  Never noticed that HERE before.  Beauty?  Um, I looked in the mirror today, and I know how dazzling I am to all of you, but when I look at myself it’s half and half, and when Mrs M looks at me…hmm.  I’ll have to ask her.  Anyway, I’m sure there’s a better word for it.  Let me know in the comments below.  Just keep in mind, the photo isn’t mine, the model is probably smarter than any stupid comment, AND, she knows people who can take you to where the sharks swim, that is, if she doesn’t have her own boat, so don’t.  You know what I mean.  Just.  Don’t.

I’ll let you know how the dog’s bath goes.  We’ll both be cleaner, because I’m climbing in there with him.  With some kind of clothes on…where’s my denim shirt?  It’s probably the closest thing to chain mail I own.  Well, he’ll be clean.  I may be eaten alive.  Maybe he’ll go for the jugular vein.  Best case, he’ll just freak out and freeze like he did last time we bathed him, and endure until the bitter end.  In between, a number of dog-bite scenarios come to mind. You haven’t heard this tiny 25lb  dog screaming crazed bloody murderous hatred at the neighbors, their kids, or their dogs.  He’s scared, but he tells the other, bigger dogs, and people, to fuck off or die.  Anyone else dissect courage and see “rage?” Just me? Maybe it’d be better if I had a dog the size of a shark, so one bite would end it.  But no.  My dog has teeth that bear closer resemblance to a piranha.  Honestly, I don’t think I’m afraid, but it’s possible.  I’m a bit nervous, truthfully, but I think he’ll behave.  He trusted me through a trip to the veterinarian, so maybe he’ll trust me through the bath. Maybe it’ll be a bonding experience, as if we weren’t already totally perfectly psychologically paired.

At least it’s not an anal probe.  Holy ass-fucking HELL.  The stupid veterinarian KNEW our poor dog was having digestive difficulties, irritated from front to back, knew he was already suffering after we described his discomfort, symptoms and, um, discharge, and could have just done the blood chemistry to figure that out, but no, she had to get a temperature, from the core, where he was already sore.  I haven’t had the pleasure of hemorrhoids, but I think the dog had one, and she wanted to poke at it, for fucks sake.  And that was just in the entry hall of the Hound’s House of Hellish Horrors.  He cried and I wanted to.  That wasn’t enough, so she took him into her back-room torture chamber to get the blood sample and then she tried to get a stool sample, that buggering bitch.  He cried some more; I could hear it through the damned doorway to doggy distress, and I almost did too.

My blood sample for the doctor’s little experiment is (in installment payments because I don’t just have that lying around) costing us $700 because my insurance is bullshit.  I knew the fucking results before the test was collected. I called everything before they called me, Mrs. M heard it, not that she showed me any sense of being impressed when I was spot on about everything.  And the dog’s session in the canine chamber of crises and cataclysm was around $300, and what did they tell us?  He’s got an irritated lower digestive tract and an upset stomach.  Um…  No shit, mutt mundunugu!  Neither of those will ever happen again.  I can’t afford to let them experiment on me, and I won’t allow them to torture the dog ever again.

I’ll check in after the potential shredding. I may just go with the ragged, rugged look. Mrs M hates it when I try to go out with any kind of holes or shreds I didn’t pay for, but our daughter has a pair of jeans that looks like it’s been through the shredder and that’s considered “fashionable.” I mean, what the fuck?!  My ego, not to mention my very mortal soul, goes through the shredder on a regular basis.



Hot, isn’t it?  I look exactly like that.  Except for the likelihood of bloodshed and mayhem.  Maybe you just can’t see the scratches because they’re eclipsed by how fine I am.  Just ask Mrs. M.  Because she needs a good laugh.

Top 10 Explanations for High Functioning Deon

Ohh, yeah, if you can’t be manic and optimistic, pretend like fuck and eventually you’ll still be depressed and angry.  So it goes that yesterday I pretended to not be depressed.  I pretended I was fine and got dressed and got into my car and drove pretending not to be afraid of the other drivers.  I was less afraid than usual because I wasn’t leaving in the middle of rush hour, but I knew that since I couldn’t find my fucking cell phone until 5 minutes later than I needed it to be there on time, I’d be a little late.  I failed to pretend when the nonexistent traffic ground to a halt and then proceeded to mosey when I knew I was already late to get to the doctor’s office, but the other drivers either couldn’t hear or pretended not to hear.  I don’t like car horns, so I don’t use my own unless the rage is particularly bad, and yesterday it wasn’t.

I boldly got out of my car and smiled at some other poor schmuck and his kid in the parking lot, because why add my stress to their stress.  I held the door for them, because if I’m already 3 minutes late, who gives a fuck about being 1 more minute late? I pretended with the receptionist when she told me that my appointment was a half a fucking hour and 5 minutes ago, and she would have to reschedule.  I pretended to be OK leaving the office knowing I’d have to come back and might be late for work, and expressed my gratitude I could get it out of the way today and not wait a few more weeks.  I’ve been fine I guess without medication, my acting chops have proven invaluable at work pretending I accepted the new bullshit they shoved at me in the form of moving me to the ass end of the schedule without a pay grade bump.  Because having less money than I need is better than having NO money at all.

I went back and endured a little less traffic at 10, and pretended  with the receptionist again, acting as normal as I felt normal might act.  I pretended for the doctor, because why should he worry about me when there are far worse cases he could invest his time with.  I mean, someone who’s dying isn’t as bad off as someone who only feels like shit in his mind.  That shit was real shit when I got home, and it was nothing but stress, so it’s a good thing he didn’t get a sample of that.  It’s normally a whole lot more regular and a whole lot less displaying evidence of my stress level, so I was peaking yesterday morning because after I went before going to the doctor the first time, I went again after going to the doctor the second time.

Side effects of the medications cause me to lose weight, which is great, and add to that I have a new best friend to take on frequent and regular walks around the neighborhood, and add to that the stress of recent changes has, in small ways, affected my appetite.  So I’m not really eating lunch on the regular.  I eat dinner and then I might have some toast and I might add butter or peanut butter, as a late snack.  Yesterday I added a banana because if I didn’t eat it we’d need two more bananas in an aging condition to make banana bread, and frankly I was too tired to bake, and I felt like eating it wouldn’t make me nauseous.  No, I was nauseous before and after the doctors appointments, but not last night.  And I buttered that toast before I added peanut butter and that banana.  Elvis much?  I didn’t grill it, so maybe it’s not as buttery and artery clogging.

With my weight loss, my blood pressure has dropped into a quite normal and healthy range, and my stressed out pulse didn’t freak out the nurse practitioner.  I’m reporting some good news, people, can you believe it?  My resting pulse is at this weight probably normally 60, with the meds pushing it down into the 50s.  I’ve lost 5 more pounds, and I’m now closer to 200 than I am to 250, which feels nice and looks great… so why isn’t Mrs M climbing me like a softly barked, very solid sequoia?  Well, maybe I only look great if you don’t look too close…  There’s still the matter of the scruffy beard, which only hurts when I shave.  I get a razor rash, and I’m allergic to the shit you’re supposed to use to treat that.  And I get nicks, which seem like they’ll never stop bleeding (Waaahhh, would I like some cheese with that whine?) .  I’ll compensate by pretending I have the energy and motivation to clean, which is just fucking sexy if one isn’t taking one for granted and presuming the ambition exists.  I might be even more ambitious and sexy if there was an actual, erm… reward, for my efforts.  I push because shit’s gotta get done and who’s going to do it?

It worked out fine.  I kept my mouth shut; I didn’t bitch about anything.  I didn’t tell him about the stress at work, or the issues of my very beautiful, but allegedly pre-menopausal wife and her lack of a normal sex drive.  I can accept her age, but the drive has been in the same gear for almost our whole marriage.  And frankly, as gears go, there’s never been enough grind.  I compensate for her lack, by wanting sex about twice a day, in one glorious form or another.  And she compensates by saying “no,” which I want to respect.  “I said too much; I said enough.  I thought that I heard you laughing.” (fucking earworm!  REM?!

Maybe the earworms are trying to tell me to sleep.  AC/DC or Led Zeppelin to the rescue!)

Anyway, the doctor,  bless his heart, bought my act and re-prescribed meds I’ve been out of for a month, compensating for some of them with alternative substances (mostly coffee or herbal tea and liquor and vitamins, including hefty doses of vitamin D) and wishes for regular and frequent therapeutic, relaxing, stress relieving, full-body massage.  He’s a new guy I had never seen before who’s probably been there the whole time I’ve been a patient, while we were on different schedules.  It’s a medical group, and they all treat all the patients, although I do have a primary care provider who is a member of the group, I haven’t seen him in more than a year as our schedules haven’t been compatible.  So I saw this new guy and pretended I was OK with meeting another stranger, AND, he brought a tagalong, some kind of intern or something, to observe.  Anyway, I went to the drug dealer and got the scripts, and took a very late dose.  Did I sleep or did I stay awake to write this?  Did I mention insomnia if I take it too late?

Did I mention ADD and cyclothymia under a depressive tidal wave full of tree trunks and cars and busses and street signs and broken glass and suppressed emotions and other shit?  And did I mention I haven’t taken my meds in a month?  It’s a wonder I’ve written ONCE in the past month, but no, you’ve had to endure the torment probably 3 or 4 times, and twice yesterday.  FFS, Deon, shut the hell up!

Now that I mention that whole ADD thing, allow me to pretend to focus on the point of this blog entry… well, best I can pretend to focus.

Top 10 Explanations for High Functioning Deon

I don’t know if there are 10.  Maybe there are 35.  Maybe there are three or four.  But hey, I’ll brainstorm and see what kind of shit the dredges bring to the surface.

10.  Terror.  As much as I’d like to lie and tell everyone how brave and courageous I am, I am more like the cowardly lion before he discovered his heart.  As I said, I’m a briliant actor.  And “If I were the king of the fore-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-st!” …Nevermind.  Suffice it to say I identified with him and I know all the words to his song.  High functioning Deon is caused by terror.  I’m afraid if I don’t fight, the world around me will go to shit FASTER.  Oh, it’s going to shit, there’s no stopping that, but if I quit functioning and shut down as often as I wanted to, I’m afraid over time my house would become more of a hovel featuring both filth AND squalor, my boss would fire me, my wife would divorce me, my children would disrespect me even more, my house and car would be repossessed, (and I own the damn car!) all my teeth would break and I’d get a slow and painful infucktion that wouldn’t ever actually kill me but would torture me for a long, long time,  and all of my “friends” in the real world outside of this blog would express their disappointment and shun me with the promise to stop if I repented.  Please, shun me and don’t stop.  That last one isn’t a fear so much as “a consummation devoutly to be wished.”  And for fuck’s sake, if you’re not going to shun me, then give me motivational cash and gift certificates to your favorite steak house and burger places and to the various low-rent stores you’d never go to yourself, preferring to call the guy or visit classy retail establishments.  Suggestions I might use could be the local home improvement place, for wood and paint and plumbing and tools and other house-type items, the local convenience store with everything from groceries to clothes to greeting cards to bedding and furniture and new tires, the local auto repair shop so I can get my shock absorbers replaced, …the list of practical places goes on and on.

9.  Promises.  When I was young and hadn’t experienced much of life yet, I was much more full of hope than I am now.  I made certain promises to certain people.  When I make promises I like to keep them, and it drives me because if all I have that’s good is my word, then when I give you my word I will keep my promise or die trying.  I may do a half-assed job of whatever it is, especially if I’m exhausted, but I’m going to take a crack at fulfilling the letter of the promise.  If I care about the person I’ve made the promise to, I’ll strive for the spirit of the promise, which usually is better quality work than just doing exactly what I say I’ll do.

8. Compulsivity.  OK, at the risk of personal disclosure (what the fuck is a blog for if not for that, Deon?), I suffer from fits of compulsivity.  If I start cleaning it, I have to finish it, but thank God that only applies to whatever surface or area I’ve decided to clean.  It frustrates me if I don’t have time to finish, or if I finish only to look the next day and my wife or kids have messed it up all over again.  I did the microwave two days ago and I keep wiping it out.  Since I’m home and heating my caffeinated beverages I’ll invest an extra two minutes and wipe off whatever exploded in there.  The kids’ bathroom is next because I noticed the sink is disgusting and I am not picturing either of them cleaning it.  I cleaned the downstairs bathroom sink today, and it was just the sink, but it’s clean and shiny and it made me happier after the Doctor-induced panic.  Which brings us to the next explanation:

7. Caffeine.  So,  you all DO know lots of chemical compounds or molecules that end in -ine are stimulants, right? Caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, Amphetamine…  Well, prior to being actually diagnosed officially with ADD, and still today, my drug of choice is caffeine.  Coffee, tea, chocolate… I used to drink caffeinated sodas, but I don’t want all the sugar.  But it’s helpful, it fuels the concentration.  I love the flavor of a good coffee or tea.  I drink them plain, no sugar, no cream.  All I want is the caffeine molecules, and the water doesn’t hurt.  Ritalin isn’t like those, aka MethylPhenidate.  It is a stimulant, but it’s synthesized, since 1944, and it doesn’t act like a normal stimulant.  I bet if I did take ritalin, I’d be one of the rare ones that gets more depressed.  It’s a known potential side effect.  Concerta is a brand of the same but it gives my daughter hallucinations.  I don’t want to see scary things that aren’t there, since things that ARE are scary enough.  The more natural, the better.  Caffeine may technically be a “high,” but it’s natural enough to keep drinkers high functioning, including me.  Now…where did I put my coffee cup?  Coffee keeps me moving, even though my motion often seems to me to be more backward than forward.  I don’t have any bathroom difficulties, with or without caffeine.  But WITH caffeine, I spend less time contemplating how murder might make the world a better place.

6. Rage.  The list wouldn’t be complete without my rage.  Rage gives adrenaline better than fear.  There are different kinds of rage, as there are different kinds of fear.  Fear of disappointing Mrs M motivates me slightly less than being in a frustrated fit of rage at whatever button she pushed that really pissed me off.  Don’t you fucking ever dare tell her that.  I’m not sure if there’s an upper limit, a threshold I shouldn’t be pushed over.  She hasn’t reached it yet, as her body is very much alive and amazing, but if you informed her that rage worked better than fear of disappointment, she’d piss me off all the time just to get whatever shit she wanted done, done.  You don’t understand.  She’s not physically abusive, not really verbally abusive, just, she knows how to push my buttons in the worst possible ways if she wants to.  I dread her verbal jousting more than her disappointed huffing sigh.  Rage motivates me to go to work at this fucking cess pool where they abuse me mentally and fiscally, because it’s not as strong as my fear of being unemployed, and motivates me to work hard.  The company may not show their appreciation but I value my name enough to take the best care of the clients that I can, see also, #9.

5.  Hope.  Or Depression.  I’m not sure which is stronger.  Hope.  I know, it’s adorably naive, isn’t it?  But really.  I can and do have hope for eternity, but the more depressed I get the less hope I hold out for the here and now.  So either my hope, or my depression, which feeds into my feelings of rage against society, fuels my perseverance.  When I’m feeling particularly hopeful is when I can do something that makes a difference and helps someone, even if it’s something small.  When I’m depressed, usually from watching the daily news Mrs M insists on having on in the morning, it just makes me depressed, less hopeful, and more angry at our so-called “civilization.”  I mean, for fucks sake, what the fuck is WRONG with everyone?  Idiot “sociologists” try to persuade me that crime is justified when there is an absence of hope.  I call that theory “interesting bullshit.”  Sorry, but there is no excuse for crime and violence and vandalism.  There are people in dire circumstances and they’re not out rioting or looting or mugging or destroying shit that doesn’t belong to them.  They’re on your local street corner holding signs asking for your spare change.  Give them something, even if you don’t have much.  Give them your lunch and go without for one day.  If you ate yesterday and got your coffee this morning, and you’re going to eat tonight, c’mon.  But yeah, crime and violence and vandalism, looting, robbery and rape aren’t symptoms of hopelessness.  They just make me mad.  They make me wish I was a superhero able to stop the criminals.  Crimes against children make me the most angry.  Pay your fucking child support, or you’re a thief and a child abuser, you stupid fucks.  That is NOT how you love your kid(s), dear deadbeat dick donors.  You should  be paying extra, to make sure YOUR KIDS are well taken care of. But instead you treat your own kid like shit and withhold the care you should be providing  because you want to stick it to your ex; do you not fucking care about your own fucking KID(s), you abusive, stupid, ASS HOLE?  Treat them at LEAST to the court required support, and THEN pretend you’re “Disney Dad” when it’s your turn to “have custody,” which is court-appointed doublespeak for “taking direct care of your child(ren) without their mother’s help” which, when you were together was probably “you letting her do everything without your help.”

I keep trying, I keep working, I keep on setting the best example I’m able to set, even with the emotional difficulties I have.  The rage and depression, and the hope that my example will make a difference eventually, or might make a difference now, keeps me trying to move forward even when life is pushing back hard.  See also #1.

4.  Music.  Music is an alternative wave that I ride for those temporary escapes from the focus on how tired I am.  It also is a channel of weirdly loose focus, that allows me to keep working on whatever chore it is.  Sometimes the lyrics remind me of profound truth, see “Get Back, Honky Cat,” and sometimes the lyrics don’t quite ring true enough so I tend not to gravitate toward those songs when I want to work.  But the profound truth of ALL of my labor is that I can handle it, and the reward of looking back at the successfully finished task is often enough encouragement.  Dishes can get discouraging, but the gleam after washing…  Bathrooms can be bad, but look after the scrubbing bubbles are wiped away.  The floors can be filthy, but look after I vacuum, or sweep and then mop!  I like a little bleach.  See also, this motivational musical number:

I figure there are two options:  Either brooms and mops, bleach and soap, or high explosives.  So far, the former are still working for me.

3.  Brilliant acting chops.  It’s quite possible that my forced enthusiasm is nothing more than a brilliant act, and I may just be so brilliant at it that I fool myself.  I pretend so well that I care about the dirty house, I can actually fool myself into vacuuming, emptying the lint trap in the dryer, mopping, wiping, dealing with the sorting act and deciding what’s trash and what’s treasure, chasing the paper, washing, drying and putting away laundry, etc.  Mrs M has been brilliantly handling the bills since she fought me for the checkbook many years ago.  She doesn’t fight fair.  Those eyes…  Those curves…  Still hot after more than 20 years.  When I say I love my family, that’s not an act,  …roughly 96% of the time.  Don’t hurt any of them or you’ll find out I love them to death, literally, and I don’t mean their death, or my death…  So I’ve learned to act like a French maid.  …I need one of those sexy French Maid costumes, but for a guy.  You ladies can keep your thigh-high stockings with the seams up the back, and garters.  I don’t think Mrs M will mind, presuming it’s masculine enough.  I can’t wear high heels.  They don’t look good on me and I fall over.  And I can’t wear the girly stuff, but something minimal with a soft, black, Stetson with the option of either a black ribbon around the crown, or a black leather strap, depending on my mood, pleated white silk tuxedo front and cuffs, and maybe black silk boxers, and black lace-up combat boots…  I don’t guess I could wear that in front of the kids.  They act all grossed out if I smile at Mrs M across the dinner table.

2. Alcohol.  Would be necessary if I actually ever tried to carry off the French maid bullshit above.  But it was a funny image, now, wasn’t it?  Alcohol keeps me in a high-functioning range when life is shit and I need a little medicinal relaxational motivational beverage at the end of a hard day.  It makes me more relaxed and less stressed out and better able to carry on conversations with family AND less focused on the effort of completing tasks.  Combine that with magical, motivational music, and I am good to do more housework.  Holy shit, what I need is a job that lets me drink something other than tea and coffee sometimes.  Tonight, probably The Rolling Stones.  Because, “Start Me Up.”  Yesterday, if I remember that long ago, it was Aerosmith.  But I like the older stuff.

1.  Warrior Mentality – My sense of manhood.  Life is a fight to the death.  We all eventually lose.  But I’m just going to describe my heart here.  I don’t give a shit if you want to throw your inner feminine side out there, guys.  I just don’t give a shit.  And I also don’t give a shit if you want to grow a pair, ladies.  In MY personal inner being, lurks a warrior spirit, and life IS a fight to the death, and I don’t intend to lose until I’m dead.  Like the song goes, “Don’t try to push your luck, just get out of my way.”

There I go. Is it 8 PM yet? It’s Friday, Hallelujah. Maybe the song should be back in pajamas. That’s my armor, folks. All Ephesians 6 says to do is “stand firm.” I got that covered. In pajamas. And all I’m saying is my inner warrior is in a fight to the death with life. All those things I hate? I want to fix it. And if I can’t fix something because I don’t have enough training, so be it. If I can’t fix something because I don’t have enough money, again, so be it. But if I can fix it, or TRY to fix it and do a decent job, it’s worth the fight, I say, even as I bitch about how hard life makes something that should be easy and simple. Fixing a ceiling fan, or something that makes me climb a dreaded ladder, sure, I have panic, but I know I can do it if I climb. And then, of course, the damned screws always fall or refuse to thread correctly. Fixing a leaking sink, sure I can do it, but not if it’s broken and refuses to go back together correctly, and of course, there’s always grossness in the pipes to clean out and then they leak because the grime was holding hands and keeping the water on the inside. Household labors nearly ALWAYS take more time, more effort, more training, and more money than I walked in wanting to invest. Or, they frustratingly fall apart and require re-doing, which always makes me just shout for joy, or, they break to a point where calling the guy” is required, which costs WAY too much. I mean, fucking car repairs, really?! The guy is always tsk!-ing and telling me how I need this and that or the car will die in the middle of the highway and get me killed, and how he wouldn’t drive it like it is if he were me. But fuck you, mechanic, yes you fucking would, because if I were you I’d be charging $75 an hour labor and then shop and parts fees, and if you were me you wouldn’t be able to afford that shit.

I knew a lady once whose plumbing always fell apart on the holidays. Seriously, her hot water heater held up until Thanksgiving day, and then blew water all over her house. Her sink blew up on Christmas, I was waiting for the toilet to explode on the fucking fourth of July. And me? I once saved a “simple” plumbing thing until the holiday only to ultimately call the guy (I waited until the next day) to put it right. I HATE house repair projects especially when they go to shit, which is like down to 40% of the time because I’ve learned not to try a percentage of things I don’t really know shit about, and I know I’d do a shit job if I tried it on my own and then have to call the guy, which means paying for parts at least once and then probably twice, AND paying whatever hourly bullshit the guy can get away with depending on if it’s a holiday.  AND, in my own defense (STOP FUCKING LAUGHING!  …Oh, go ahead, knock yourself out.  Please.  Laugh harder, you’re still breathing and conscious.) In my own defense, over the last 20 something years, Mrs M has bullied me into a rage sufficient to learn how to fix a lot of shit.  Lighting fixtures, fans, vacuum cleaners, some plumbing, although I still have a dread fear of the water leaking or dripping, and I once rebuilt a damned shelf 4 times because she had too much shit stored up on them.  Shut up!! I was building it correctly, it just wasn’t strong enough to hold the weight.

0.  A sense of moral obligation.  I don’t see a lot of this in the real world.  This is why guys get what they want from a girl and then leave the girl to carry the responsibility all by themselves.  HIV/AIDS.  Herpes.  Gonorrhea.  Syphilis.  Scabies.  Babies.  Rabies.  Oh wait.  It’s a poem, a rap, with a catchy street beat:

STDs, you know they come in all sorts,
Viruses, bacteria, bugs or maybe warts, (that’s attractive!)
Chancroid, PID, gonorrhea,
pubic lice, scabies, chlamydia, (now, interactive!)
Trichomoniasis, HIV, and HPV,
Molluscum contagiosum, and hepatitis B, (It’s in your blood!)
Don’t be rash…, choose wisely, as the buyer,
Get yours today, they’re spreading like fire! (You’re leaking crud!)

Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew.  Committed monogamy is not a sexually transmitted disease.  Thank God I’m married.

You don’t see a lot of this because it’s not being advertised a lot.  The world, the media, your idiot peers, the advertisers, your favorite television shows, all glamorize how wonderful it is doing the dirty deed, as often as you can, any time you can, with anyone you want who wants you back.  Or front.  Or top.  Or bottom.  Yep, it’s great.  Shop around, bop around, hop around, they never show you the consequences unless it’s maudlin and you’re supposed to feel sympathetic to the um…innocent? victim?

The one thing that should never be advertised without a painful, flesh (not chemical) castration, behavior modification, lobotomy, and aversion therapy, is rape.  Rapists should be treated as harshly as possible, not get their name broadcast on the news (Hey, look friends!! I’m FAMOUS!!)  or worse, told they’ll likely never get caught.  In 2013 the estimate was that only 34.8% of assaults were reported, and it used to be even less.  In 2011 the estimate was that only 6.66 out of every 100 rapists were ever brought to any kind of justice, which by law might be some sort of fine, or might be a season of imprisonment.  So, the estimate is that 93 out of every 100 rapists get off and face no consequences whatsoever.  And that, readers, is fucked up.  I swear I didn’t make up the 6.66, which is fucking diabolical.  And this page, for some reason under the label… which I couldn’t make funny if I WANTED  to but for fucks’ sake, no pun intended, someone tried, it shows that the average jail time even if you ARE convicted of sexual assault, is  about 66 months.  That’s right kids!  Put someone through the trauma, and then the post trauma-tic stress of having to relive your unwanted attack, your damnable defiling of their private, personal, holiest of holy, sacred temple, whenever your innocent victim’s now traumatized brain puts them through it again, not to mention making it next to impossible to trust anyone in a romantic relationship ever again, not to mention causing difficulty with intimacy if they DO try, and then, after you’ve put your victim through that shit, if you’re one of the unlucky 6.66% that actually gets caught, charged, and fucking convicted of doing it, you MIGHT serve 5 and a half damned years and then you’re free to try again and see if you’re luckier the next time.  THAT is why I am in favor of drastic sentences and punishments for rapists, even though for some reason they won’t put a rapist to death, not even a person who rapes a child.

If the FBI is  reading my blog and my browsing history I think it’s hilarious because I just looked for information about what kind of plants grow best over a buried dead body.  I didn’t find any, which is disappointing.  We planted flower bulbs over both of our guinea pigs which died of old age, which is disappointing because they only live 8 or so years at the maximum, and ours lived that long and then just quit.  The flowers grow every year around Easter, which is just after when both died, which is a beautiful reminder that we loved the guinea pigs.

I looked it up not actually planning anything, just thinking that if victims and their families who actually love the truly innocent victims ever decided to handle the situation in a way that feels more just than fucking 6.66%, it might be nice to plant something to remind them when they walk by the hidden grave, known only by justice… I mean just us…, that the world has one less monster walking around free. If they are allowed to roam free, they are 93.34% likely to hurt another person and fucking get away with it.  Worthless animals that hurt people for their own sadistic pleasure need to be put down.<br/> <a href=”; style=”font-size: 9px; color: #ddd;” title=”Listen to on”></a>”>Funny thing, right after I wrote the thing about the FBI, my whole internet crashed for 15 minutes

I did NOT start this blog with the purpose of ranting about rapists, but there it is.  Rage as a motivator.  I’m switching to Channel #2 in just a short while, but I wanted to write about having a strict moral code.  The world needs people who set high moral standards, and also needs those same people to be gracious when others don’t measure up to their personal holiness.  I listened to some jackass talking about how he posted some shit on someone’s social media about how the guy needed to be a higher class of guy if he wanted to attract a higher class of girl.  And he said some more shit about how he wasn’t trying to pass judgement.  Then what the fuck WERE you trying to do, because it sounded like you suck.  I mean suc…ceeded at exactly that.

I DO have a relatively strict moral code and I DO strive for it, despite failing all the damned time.  And I’ve learned there’s a good reason for my failures, although they suck.  I mean there’s at least one good reason.  I have learned more about extending grace,  because I am so very aware how much I need it for myself.  If you are holier than thou, you don’t need grace and you love to flaunt your perfection and look down your snoot at the poor helpless sinners asking them why they don’t “just” be a higher class of godliness.  Pious fucker.

The world doesn’t need more judgement.  Judgement’s coming, don’t get me wrong.  But we Christ-followers don’t need to be the ones to bring it.  No, what the world needs is more grace, more forgiveness, more honest, Christ-like love. “Neither do I condemn you.  Go and sin no more.” Or how about “God have mercy on ME, a sinner!” ?  I may never go home after praying feeling fully justified, and maybe that’s a good thing.  It keeps my heart in a place where I can encourage people, because we’re all the same.  Instead of offering no hope, and only judgement, Christ followers need to understand how to do something very important.  But some are so holy they don’t need it themselves, so they forget how to offer it.  “It” is mercy.  If we offer it, Christ followers, to those who need it, the world will believe us when we say Christ gives it away.

The book of Hosea is a fascinating story, God commanded the prophet Hosea to make his own LIFE, a picture of how God loves people in spite of everything they do, so it’s fitting that Jesus quoted it.  Hosea 6:6.  Matthew 9 is full of example after example of how Christ followers should NOT ACT.  Jesus is being loving and kind and forgiving, and the holier than thou set are being all judgemental and looking down their noses at JESUS, for Christ’s sake, (hahaha) thinking they’re better than JESUS.  And he quotes Hosea in the middle, saying, not in my exact words, “No, you religious freaks, that’s not how you love people.  You love people by learning this:”

 Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Jesus loves you, but you have to know you need his love and mercy before you can really understand it and receive it.  If you don’t need it because you’re already perfect (in your own eyes), then fuck off.  If you desperately need it like I do because you know you’re SO far from perfect it’s completely hopeless and depressing, then you’re ready for it, and not only that, after you’ve accepted it, you’re ready to share it.  As long as you don’t become one of those tight-assed religious freaks who forgets how they used to act and uses their newfound lifestyle as an excuse to not help others, not love others, and pass judgement without mercy.

-1.  Mercy.  Mercy motivates me.  I need it.  But it’s beyond just need.  I’m starving to death for it.  I’m desperate.  And the desperation motivates me to express mercy, and acceptance, and forgiveness, and grace, which are the very heart of Jesus, in my very imperfect way. I am sorry for failing to share more often and more clearly, but this is where i am.  And as much as I hate everyone, God compels me to tell you that He loves you.  And as much as I hate it, I’m supposed to show you.  This is me showing you, even if my own heart says you’re a complete ass hole and I don’t want to.
So yeah, I’m “high functioning” despite all of the shit life dishes out, despite my boss, my budget, my bitching, my brood.  I have to be.  I also want to be, even when I don’t want to be.  So that’s what I’ve decided to be.  I’ll keep trying harder, even on days when I don’t want to get out of bed.  And there are lots of them.  I still push myself and go do what I have to do, motivated by one of the above, to keep going.

-2.  Maybe it’s really not me.  Maybe it IS my choice, but maybe not entirely.  Maybe it’s Something Else.  

Get Back, Honky Cat

I’m working through a change of circumstance, and as those two who faithfully read my blog know well, I LOVE when life changes everything up on me.  Crisis?  What crisis.  No problem!

OK I’m done with the joke.  I fucking HATE change.  I hate change, hate crises, hate breakage, hate loose wires, hate things that fall.  They induce panics.  And I also hate going shopping and other drivers and going to work at all.  They induce justifiable panics.  I hate not having any money, because add rage to panic.  So let’s go back to I hate work because rage and panic and micromanagement all suck ass.  I hate whenever the phone rings.  Let me call you, or better still, email you, or better still, ignore you unless it’s important.  Which means if the phone rings, it better be damned important or I’m not going to like it.  Which is why I naturally have to answer phones all fucking day at work, for idiots who don’t know shit about shit, talking to idiots who didn’t do whatever they were supposed to do in the right way or they wouldn’t have had to call me at all.  The idiots I answer for, are idiots because they think I can support a family of four on a poverty wage and their idea of career advancement is, “he’s good at that, let’s leave him there and keep paying him the same amount as we pay the new people coming in fresh off the street.  If he asks about getting a promotion, let’s move him around laterally until he’s so confused he gives up.  Let’s discourage him too, because uppity people who, while we admire that they are smart and hard workers, say they need more money need artificial obstacles thrown at them ”  Stupid shitheads.  “He’s been getting by on what we’ve been paying for several years, why does he need more money?  Plus, if we promote him we might find out he’s just as stupid as the others we’ve promoted before him even though he’s worked here longer and might know more, so let’s not do that.”

I know what you’re saying.  A promotion to more money would be change, and you hate that, Deon, so what are you saying?  And if that’s what you’re saying, fuck you for saying that, and I mean that with the fondest of af-fuck-tion.

What I hate is complication. What I like is simplicity, logic, doing things right the first time so you don’t have to do more work to get the same effect, or do things twice.  A very simple and practical example is, I hate my shoestrings that routinely come untied.  I tie them, and they come untied within 5 minutes.  I tie them in knots and they come untied after the first hour or less.  It’s an unneccesary complication.  I know what you’re saying.  If life was easy, and your shoestrings stayed tied, you’d get less exercise and probably be fat.  And if that’s what you’re saying, fuck you for saying that, and I mean that with the fondest of af-fat-tion.

Speaking of fat and unnecessary complications, I treated myself to breakfast today because it was after 10 and I went in to the office to pick up what I thought was something to make my job easier, but we haven’t gotten into it yet, I’ll explain it all in a second and in my own rambling and random manner it might eventually make sense if you stick with me.  But breakfast, speaking of complication, was complicated.

I went to a great fast food place where there used to be a famous clown whose logo resembles a letter, or french fries, and whose name rhymes with Donald Nick-Ronald, and I suppose that might be a Scottish name for a red-headed Scottsman who was famous for telling people “take your pancakes and sausages and eggs and hash browns and biscuits and coffee, and fuck off.”  For the love of dieting and rationing plans, why did she give me three fucking pancakes and only TWO pats of butter and only ONE container of syrup? These portions are just stupid unless you’re OCD and have to count down.  “SIX! Thousand calories in your hash brown.  Five!  Thousand calories in your biscuit, sausage and scrambles.  Four! Tines on your fork.  Three!  Pancakes.  Two! Pats of butter.  ONE!  Container of syrup.”  Clowns have become symbolic of the creepy, a posse of killers, an insane Joker played a bit too well by several actors vying for the best portrayal of a villain in a superhero movie about a guy who isn’t really a superhero, a real life killer clown named after an actor, and so on.

This restaurant, and society, have lost all their innocence because a few ass hole animals have committed atrocities in clown suits and we are no longer able to appreciate the art of a good clown because a few were evil.  Too easy a target, and I’m sorry a few took their shots.  What’s next?  Traveling vacuum cleaner salesman who really suck?  Zombie teachers who only want to eat your child’s brains?  Vampire pastors preaching about life after death, achieved by drinking blood?  Oh wait.  If you listen to my kids, the teachers ARE brain eating gouls.  And if you listen to certain texts, um, I’m not far off about the pastors.  I joke, because I’ve read it.  Here:

I like routines; I like simple things.  Keeping life simple leaves margins for the times when life by necessity gets more complicated.  When people say they like to keep busy, I don’t understand because there’s no room for any extras.  When your schedule is full there’s no time for relaxation, and there’s no time for urgent, unexpected events.  When do you edge in the time to get an oil change, or worse, what if your car breaks down and needs to be fixed?  Or if you get in an accident rushing here and there (and here I’ll say if you were distracted it’s your own fucking fault and you should get the fuck out of my way because I’m not distracted, you’re in my damn way, and I’m in a real hurry because I’m late after taking care of whatever needed to be taken care of at home.  Fucking MOVE.

I like the weather in the fall, cool but not cold, grass doesn’t need mowing, driveways don’t need shoveling, I can wear a coat that has my beloved pockets without undue discomfort, but it’s not so cold I have to actually use the zipper or have a hat or gloves. And, there are apples on the trees waiting to be made into preserved jars of apple butter and canned apple slices and apple pies.  Mrs. M, bless her, says my hair is thinning on top, and as she is also my barber, I suppose she must be telling me the truth.  If my kids weren’t listening, I’d whisper into her ear that my head is trying to show her over time what I’d like her to do now, which is, getting naked.  That is, if my kids weren’t also actually watching and acting all grossed out, like they haven’t studied the origin of the species in fucking…. hahaha… biology and health classes.  I mention it only to set the climate into perspective when saying I still don’t need a hat or gloves in the fall.  I want my pockets because everything goes into them because I don’t like putting things in my pants pockets.  Wallet, comb, keys, a pocket knife, occasionally a nail file and clippers.  And sometimes other crap, whatever I feel like I need for the day.  It goes in the coat pockets from fall through winter.  And I lament the spring and summer when it’s too hot to have my precious pockets, because it means change.  I completely HATE spring forward every damn spring, and I love falling back every damn fall.  Just keep setting the clocks back an hour until we gain a whole day of sleep, and I’ll be perpetually happy.  Who’s with me on that?  I can’t possibly be the only one.

I like the traffic flow to keep flowing and keep moving.  When there are flashing lights or crashes or shit on the road and everyone either has to slow down to avoid causing further death and destruction, or those few have to practically, or actually, fucking stop because they have to know if there’s any blood, and if there is, they literally have to stop and stare and cause the rest of us to be later than we already are, fuckers.  If you would get the fuck out of the way and keep moving the emergency vehicles could get there that much faster and get the poor schmucks to the hospital before they bleed to death, but if you fucking slow down and make everyone have to stop behind you, or worse, if you fucking STOP, they’re going to bleed to death waiting for the ambulance, and if you want that, you grim motherfuckers, fuck you.  And I mean that with the fastest of af-fuck-tion.  We’re already too late for “wham, bam,”so I’ll “thank you, ma’am” or sir, if you’ll FUCKING MOVE your damn crate either OFF the road so we all can get around you, or, GO!!  When the traffic lights are green and I’m not moving, it PISSES ME OFF… just a little.  And when your traffic light is red and you ARE moving, that PISSES ME OFF… just a little.  Oh, who am I kidding? If you move and your light is red, FUCK YOU TWICE, right up your tailpipe with a barbed wire and cyanide dripping hot buttered baked potato.  You’re the reason I’m not moving when my fucking light is GREEN!

Today I took the dog for his morning relief, and started the car on the way back inside (editorial parenthetical:  I actually wrote this part last week or whenever, who the fuck remembers, whenever it actually snowed here in Indianapolis and there was a whole inch on the ground, before they actually demonstrated how they had fucked with my schedule starting Monday of this week, and now I’m busy having a vodka tonic and some chili with tortilla chips because it’s 11:00PM on 2/1 and why not?)  I left home right after my son left to catch his bus.  I offered him a ride, and to my surprise he declined my offer.  My nicely preheated warm old car beckoned.  I got in to drive somewhat cautiously to work and made it in a half an hour early in spite of just under an inch of snow on the ground, and all the other somewhat cautious drivers on the road, in my way, on their ways.

Do you ever hear a  voice in the back of your head telling you things?  I do.  It may be an index of just how crazy I really am.  Or, how sane.  Depends on your perspective on reality. “The voice I hear falling on my ear” is usually comforting, but sometimes it’s not something I really want to hear.

The boss informed everyone that schedules were going to change, but she also soft-sold it by telling everyone not to expect anything drastic.  There was a whole list of mitigating factors in deciding the schedules which the boss played up to make everyone relax so we wouldn’t worry about it in advance.  I recall “based on your time zone,” “based on a normal eating schedule for lunch,” “based on your skills,” based on your tenure,” “based on your performance,” “based on your skills,” “based on…” bullshit.

I call “bullshit” because in actual point of fact, when the new schedules rolled out, I guess a bunch of us got the same shit shift, switching us from a normal 8 to 5 all the way to the ass end of the workday for the company, and we’re now working from 11 to 8P. fucking M.  It was a huge surprise.  I used to start at 8 or as late as 9, and finish the day as early as 4:30 and occasionally as late as 6 PM.  And I really didn’t mind anything in that window.  But the ass end of the day?  Sucks the ass end of the corporation.  I fought it, I didn’t want it, and for more than 20 years I have done the same kind of work, with a basically normal east-coast-time-zone based schedule.  Which was great since I live in the eastern time zone.  They basically were going to shove it down our throats, and I didn’t want that, so I argued.  It leaves no time whatsoever for life as I’ve known it for the past 50 years to balance with work.

But somewhere  in the back of my mind, the little voice whispered, “what if you embraced it?”  FUCK!

The answer I gave the voice in the back of my head, and my boss, was that I wanted to keep my schedule, and I wanted them to train people on the west coast to do what they wanted done, and then they could cover the hours the company needed but have a nice 8 to 5 schedule in their own time zone.  I’m surprised they let this little tidbit slip out:  the customer’s complaint was that the people they had doing the evening work sucked at it, and they wanted to move people who didn’t suck to work those hours.  I guess it was nice to have a vote of confidence.  But after two weeks of praying and hoping, the bosses called and basically thrust the new schedule at me again, saying there wasn’t any room for THEM to fucking compromise and they expected me to do all the give while they did all the fucking take.  Shitheads.

Based on their need to have competent people covering the hours they needed covered, they didn’t like where I wanted them to put the new schedule.  Shoving it either direction for them would have been uncomfortable.  For them.  So they decided to shove it at me and make me bear the responsibility and make me uncomfortable instead of just fucking hiring people from Colorado or California or Seattle, which would have seemed to me a whole lot more reasonable than making me take it.  Since I kept protesting and refusing to let them shove it down my throat, they found another vulnerable place and shoved it there, and it’s uncomfortable and I don’t like it.

All of this was done with the utmost professionalism and civility, except for the way they bullied me into taking it, bringing the boss’s boss on the conversation acting all puzzled about why I don’t want to just give up my life outside of work and just fucking work.  Ass hole.  Ass holes.  And then my boss implied that I can influence the schedule by being a great performer and doing more and working harder, and that the reason I got the shit schedule was because others did more and better.  Bull shit.  Then she diverted to other topics and breathed her sigh of relief after I shut up after my protest was voiced once again, and she advised it had been considered and ignored.  Fuckers.  She thinks everything is fine, and she moved on, leaving me to pick up the shattered shit in the wake of the hurricane.

I went home Thursday night and relaxed with a lovely and large glass of cheap but potent Merlot.  That is, after I took the kids out to dinner, the last time in the next several months, or time eternal if they decide to lock in the new shitty schedule, that I’ll get to do that on a weekday.  They want me to be flexible enough to take it up the ass any time they want to change the fucking schedule around, not realizing what a panic and a rage they cause whenever they change shit around and make me less and less valued and empowered and living.  In the interest of having a job and not having to go look for another one I decided to acquiesce and I believe everyone else who got the shit schedule did the same.  They monitor our communications so I can’t really ask from work.  But to me, this is the opposite of “balance,” and the opposite of consistency, which I highly prize.  If I were any more resistent to change, I’d have been diagnosed years ago.   It’s there, honest, but it’s well hidden under brilliant acting skills, well-rehearsed coping devices, and tucked in under the banner “high-functioning.”

High functioning anxiety.  High functioning depression.  High functioning sociopathy (I haven’t actually ever murdered anyone, but I fantasize about it a lot.  Surprisingly, I have fantasized about various scenarios from winning the lottery and teleconferencing to tell them all a few things right before quitting the shit job and the shit shift, to annually doing something on a randomly chosen date to induce them to panicked fear and just to generally fuck with them because I figure it’s only fair, to driving across the state lines to where they work to tell them in person that they’re a bunch of fucking shitheads and then explaining the reasons why, and then announcing the $400 M windfall I’m set to receive and then telling them they are all not included in any of it, to just building a bigger bunker and hiring hit men to just mess with them until they fall under the same company bullshit they laid on me and then want to quit, and making sure their bosses tell any future employers they wouldn’t rehire them because they sucked.  Briefly there was a hit-man scenario, but I don’t want to actually kill anyone, I just want them to share in the misery they offered me so they know what it feels like.)  Anyway, high functioning something something keeps me in this job because of a few things-

1) I’m not high-functioning enough to feel confident enough to “just” get another job,
2) No one wants to hire a sweary preacher.  Hypocritical fuckers.  Or, “holier than thou” fuckers.
3) I haven’t won the lottery yet.  As far as I know.  I DID buy a ticket for the $206M drawing earlier in the week, and I did buy a scratch off ticket today, and I’m still $9 ahead for the year’s “investments.”

I have friends who tell me they’re totally jealous of my “high functioning” functions.  If I think this is hard, how hard is it for someone who’s jealous because it’s not aws hard for me, or doesn’t seem as hard for me?  I often force myself to do things, in spite of my brain saying “no, no, no, no, no, no.”  Because they have to be done.  But I often wait until it’s a crisis and it HAS to be done NOW or it will get worse or cost more or both.  Or until it gets worse and WILL cost more.  Not a good thing for someone who’s worked 20 years in the same industry and gets paid entry level wages.  But no, I’m great.  I’m depressed, but it’s high functioning depression, so it’s not that bad.  Right?  FML.

Maybe I could say, “I’m underpaid, but it’s high functioning underpayment,” which is to say that I miraculously make do with shit wages.  FML.  Even less now since the insurance premiums increased due to the “affordable” health care law.  O-fucking-bama-care.  Like HE cared about my situation when he fucked with the whole country and messed up health insurance for anyone who thought they were in the middle class, right down to people like me who were ALMOST, but not quite, above the poverty line.  Fucker.  Fucking idiot.  But hey, the last several Presidents, not to mention presidential candidates, have been “high functioning” idiots, so they’re …fucking idiots.   Affordable my pained ass.  Even more painful with this schedule shoved up there along with the extra insurance premiums when I couldn’t really afford the old premiums when added to the cost of actually taking advantage of medical and, especially, dental, benefits that I’m supposed to be getting.

On to the point of this, which is to continue my discussion of omens.  Get back, honky cat, was playing on the radio when I drove in early to work, so I sat in the parking lot to listen to it.

These lyrics remind me of the prodigal son story. Almost everyone’s telling him different lies, and a few are telling him truth. The voice in my head said “LISTEN.” So I did, and I mean intently. How do you hear the truth and decipher who’s right? But if the lyrics are portentious, the voice wanted me to hear that I needed to get home and take the change and it would “do me good.”

But right now all I want to do is try to drink whiskey from a bottle of wine.  I hate change.  Did I mention I hate change?  It takes me a long time to settle in when life changes.  I’ve already given up a decent paycheck, now I’m giving up the opportunities of volunteer work during the week AND the opportunity to spend any remaining weekday evenings with my family.  As a compromise, they are “allowing” me to work from home, which is another change I’m supposed to embrace.

I’m totally fucking thrilled. (Sarcasm much?)  Pass the wine bottle, please.  And please, tell me that’s whiskey and not more Merlot, because I don’t really LIKE Merlot.  At least not this cheap crap we can afford.  Maybe it’s high functioning Merlot.  (FML)  I can accept change, whenever the alcohol kicks in and I’m feeling high…functioning, I mean, of course.

May all your change be good for you.  And may all my change come in large denominations of currency.  I’ll share, when I win the lottery.  I promise.  But I never did tell you with whom, now, did I?  I’m not manic, but I sure can act.  Where’s Hollywood with the big movie deal? Or better still, a high-paying voice-actor job so I can hide in my bunker away from all the anxiety, and rake in the cash.

The Thrill of New Things

In our previous episode, dear readers, we learned Deon stresses out when things fall apart and he really likes new things.  Today, let’s explore that excitement of the new.

It’s a new year.  There’s always excitement about the New Year.  Auld Lang Syne.  Mrs M likes the concerts and the fireworks and various parades at holidays, so she had on the television until she went to sleep, later than her normal time of too-early-t0-de-stress-Deon-o’clock.  The idiot commentators in The Land of the Free and the home of the stupid did a “man on the street” poll asking if anyone knew about the song and why we sing it for the new year, and they went on to advocate for a new New Year’s song.  Because no one (that they showed, anyway) knew shit about the song.  They’ve collectively FORGOTTEN, which,  all of those idiot commentators and common people, is what the song is about.  At the risk of polling and revealing any reader stupidity, I could ask you if you knew why we say “o’clock.”  But please, don’t answer that, even if you know.

That song is a song of drinking in remembrance.  Wait, that sounds like something they do in church, doesn’t it?  YES.  There are times when we drink because we want to forget (the bad things), to relax, to de-stress in lieu of other, um, activities, but there are also times we should drink to remember.  We drink a toast to a friend.  We drink to celebrate good times with people.  We drink to remember and honor the lives and sacrifices of others.  We should remember old times.  You kids spend so much time on your electronic toys and games you may be barely conscious of anything outside of work and your house.  You say you have “friends,” but I might have two or three.  Left.  I drank in memory of Ulla, a dear friend and mental health blogger I never got the pleasure to meet.  Who can afford tickets to South Africa?   I drank to remember my dear aunt and a cousin who went to their eternities also.  There has been just a little too much loss this year in my own family.  I drank to celebrate our memories and to grieve just a little.

I drank to toast a few friends I have met since starting this blog.  Just a few.  You may read, you may enjoy, but do you tell me?  You may read, you may commiserate, but do you tell me?  You may even “like,” after reading.  But do you tell me why?

And then I drank to let the past go, and forget a little, and finally, to celebrate the newness of another year.  I  cracked open the new year ending with celebration, and then I went to bed.

We all like new things, new clothes, new linens, new shoes, new computers, new cars, new TVs, new furniture, new wives.  But who loves them when they’re old and don’t look as good or perform like the newer model promises to?

Speaking of new things, last week my charger adapter cord finally gave up the ghost after I diddled and fiddled with it to get it to charge for  a few weeks.  I saw it coming, so a week ago I researched online and found one or two that were designed to work with the laptop.  Then I looked at local retailers and there was one that offered two that “might work” from a certain retailer who shall be nameless, for between two and five times what I wanted to pay, Mrs M said, “just order it!”  So I sent off for one by mail order and it arrived on Saturday, and worked.  There was much rejoicing over the newness and the actual function of the thing, especially when I saw with my own eyes the charge level at 95 %.  Holy Shit and Glory Hallelujah!

I like new, I confess.  I really do.  I have champagne wishes but only a kool-aid budget.  I have porterhouse dreams on an s-o-s budget.  We go to the church food pantry some, and my mum and dad sometimes give us meat.  With a little extra to spend we do have chicken, and believe me every scrap is cooked and eaten.  The church gave us a turkey for Christmas, and  we used leftovers, frozen if not in meals planned to be eaten quickly enough.  And we do have a cash flow, but not for large expenses.  Those large bills keep killing me.  But we keep on.

I had some good fortune this past week.  You know I buy a lottery ticket for $1 once in  a while.  When the jackpot is over $200M, if I have a dollar.  Well, I had a dollar and on a whim decided to get a scratch off.  I won $14 for that dollar. $13 if you count the ticket I bought to “let it ride,” that didn’t win anything.  So that reimbursed me for the cost of the charger cord, not the shipping yet, but I’ll count it like this:  God gave me the money back that I spent on the charger.  So, while counting blessings I’ll express triple gratitude:

Thanks, God, for sustaining and providing, even if your method of provision is a bit humiliating, with food on the table and jobs to go to that almost pay the bills. It may come from humiliating sources, but for the moment that’s what’s being provided.  Thanks, God, for enabling us to pay down some of the old debts we seem stuck under.  Progress is progress.   And thanks, God, for the “free” charger cord, even if I had to pay shipping.

It’s a new year and I’ll be damned if I’m not feeling just a little more hopeful.  I hope we have more opportunities to help others.  I’m going to see if I can make that happen.  There are people who don’t have homes, or who need what they have repaired or replaced.  I’ll stick to the budget and the plan.  We paid off a credit card, and we’ve almost paid off one of our used cars.  It’s been very hard.  I joked about “new wives,” but for now, despite everything, I’ll keep her.

So let’s drink to the old:  Here’s to the good memories of friends we’ve lost and friends we’ve made in the last year, and the past years, those we’ve been able to keep and those we’ll never forget.  Here’s to really slow progress bought on macaroni and cheese and food pantry staples.

And let’s drink to the new:  Here’s to cracking open a new bottle of hope.  Here, friends: have a sip.

How to Stress Out Deon


Wait, that’s how to un-stress Deon.  And there’s only one who is allowed to do that because I promised, although there’s less of that than is needed.

No, I said FUCK because my laptop is finally dead until I get a new charger cable.  I ordered it expecting it to ship on Tuesday  and it isn’t here.  It’s Saturday and I want to write, so of course my son wants help with his homework and my dog needs to go for a walk and my wife wants me to keep on cleaning shit that needs to be cleaned because I don’t have enough on my proverbial plate already.  I made a list that literally covered an entire page of a yellow legal pad and I’ve done three things already.  Make that four.  Between interruptions from the dog and the family, I’ve been sneaking on Mrs. M’s computer just to write, which was also on my list.  Because my laptop is dead.  I like writing on the laptop; I’ve gotten spoiled.  So that was the stressor last night, and I flew into a rage and washed the dishes, because that’s the only thing I can do with rage.  I have to clean something.  And then I drank something.  It was a strong vodka tonic.

I was thinking while enraged, and I remember it, so that’s what I’m going to write about.  If you want to stress Deon Mumple out, change something.  So the laptop being uncharged and inaccessible last night was very frustrating, more I think than a normal person would feel.

And here’s the thing I thought about.  Nearly everything in my life is second-hand, or old and of uncertain lifespan.  Except you young things, you bloggers.  I’ve had to live an overly frugal life, most of my life.  The only people who don’t have to do that, I think, are people who should be paying their employees more, or who ought to have less of a god-complex when billing, or a little of both.  Because there’s either rich and comfortable, or struggling, there is no in-between.

The middle class is dead.  Have you been to the doctor or dentist lately?  Insurance sucks, and doesn’t pay enough to make it worthwhile paying for it.  The doctor’s office said, “let’s do a blood test to see what’s going on and get a baseline.”  I agreed and went to the bloodsuckers at the lab who were rude to me.  Because they probably get paid shit like I do, and have to deal with sick people, infectious people, and rude people, some categories may overlap.  And then the bill came in the mail AFTER insurance and the test is costing me $700 out of pocket AFTER insurance.  For fuck’s sake, did they use a solid gold needle?  And the dentist wants more than a thousand dollars for a crown, not even a damned gold one, and I need two, so I’ve waited, hoping that money would come in.  It kept on, keeps on, getting spent.  Car repair this.  Air conditioner that.  Mrs’s car repair this.  Kids’ “book rental” extortion that.  Furnace replacement this.  Homeowners’ association dues that.  So what was left of the teeth they wanted to put the crowns on has broken.

When I was a kid, I didn’t know any better.  I trusted adults knew what the fuck they were doing, and life wasn’t quite as stressful.  Except it would have been nice to have had a nicer house, a room with a fucking door and not a tight space in the attic for my bed and my toys.  I shared the attic with my three sisters.  I got the cold Northwest exposure, they got the cold Northeast exposure.  Dad insulated the top of the roof, but never finished, but what did I know?  I was a kid.  How was I supposed to know any better?  I also trusted my dentist.  It would also have been nice to have nicer clothes, but when the Christmas budget at K-Mart or Sears dried up, it was Goodwill if I needed anything extra.  My parents spent a fortune on my shoes, it turns out.  I had the “Forrest Gump” braces, and a buildup on a heel, so that’s where the money for my nice clothes and cool toys went.  Dad made some things, including some of my toys and accessories for other toys, and looking back, despite his ADD which wasn’t ever diagnosed because doctors didn’t diagnose it back then, he did a fucking awesome job.  I loved my *brand name omitted* indestructible airplanes and cars where the little people’s bodies are painted cylinders and their heads are painted spheres and they fit in round holes the cars and planes.  Back then they were made of wood.  One year, to go with them, he made me an airplane hangar and tower.  Yes, it was a plywood box, but he MADE it.  To go with my indestructible *brand name omitted* very green toy tractor, he MADE a barn to park it in, with room for the plows and furrowing toy accessories, and a farmhouse.  Not fancy, but nicely painted. Some kid (my nephews) were playing with the farmhouse and tractor and accessories until they outgrew them.  I can still hear my sister saying “John, dear, (AHEM) put away your tractor toys, please.”  (No, really, one of my nephews is named John.  I think the toys were eventually donated to charity, because my nephews are teenagers or older now.  And if you still try to shop, and are getting an idea of how much things cost, You could go on line and Fish-fer-prices (AHEM!) all day, and you probably would NEVER find one of the mechanic garages or airplanes as nice as the ones they bought me.  I was one of those play-on-the-floor kids, or a go outside and run around in traffic kids.  They encouraged me to be as active as possible.

Because I had a tendency to grow, I sometimes needed new clothes, and for me, my parents made do with hand-me-downs from older cousins or Goodwill things, and I was content.  Except at school, when the kids showed off their new wardrobes and their cool shoes that didn’t have mechanical appliances added to them.  And when my sisters opened presents for birthdays or Christmas and there was a new dress or slacks or a blouse.  If my mum had the patience to darn, if I had a hole in my sock she would have wanted to darn it.  And as for “profanity,” that was about as profane as she ever got.  As for darning socks, she was frugal, but not THAT frugal.  So depending on how much I grew, I could count on one of my presents being socks or underwear, for either Christmas or birthday.  And they were NEW.

Beyond that, new clothes were rare.  Mum made home-made bread, which is amazing. She passed that skill set on to three of the four.  I don’t know if my oldest sister bakes.  She doesn’t seem like the type.  But I like to eat, and have what accountants refer to as “slow cash flow,” so I cook and bake.  About the teeth, I trusted that my dentist knew what he was doing back when I was a kid, and never expected him to be described by a future dentist as “a better bricklayer than dentist.”  He troweled in the filling stuff and there were overhangs inside there that caught food particles until the teeth around the fillings gave out, and due to this malpractice, because I’m calling it what I think it was, I have two that now need even more expensive implants, or to just be pulled, and one that just cracked a little the other day.  False teeth are less expensive than keeping what I have.  Unless “starting at just $400” means they end up at $4000 after you add in the special things like auto mechanics add to pad their wallets.  Buying tires?  Gotta pay for “disposal fees” (someone has to toss that on the trash pile) and “valve stems,” like those fucking things don’t come as a part of the tire, and “installation” and “balancing” and “rotating,” and then “alignment,” because the mechanic has a kid in college and wants to retire soon.  I mean, because your tires need these things or they will wear out right after the warranty expires.

Don’t worry, the point is coming.  This is not just another randomly ranting and rambling Deon post.

I learned something about myself in the rage last night.

I learned I really don’t like that almost everything in my life is second-hand.  I want new things.  (Don’t we all, Deon, you fucking idiot?  Put on your big boy underpants and deal with it.  Welcome to life.)  But no, I REALLY want new things.  It explains a lot about my habits and my personality.

I like to clean.  And now I understand the reason why:  If I can clean something, really clean it, it’s closer to how it was when it was new.  My *Brand Name Omitted* vacuum cleaner has a cylindrical sponge inside.  When I take the sponge out to clean it, I wash that thing and get all the little dirt particles out until I don’t see any more dirt, and then I put it all back together, and it runs a whole lot better.  I try to clean it about every three weeks, and the sponge was, over time, getting closer and closer to being a rectangular object as whatever crappy adhesive they use where they make those uprights that are supposed to pick up Dirt like a Devil (AHEM!) let go.  So I did what any ordinary person would do.  I got out some damned thread and stitched that thing together.  OK, an ordinary person would figure out where to buy a new damned sponge.  But I don’t have the time or resources, darn it!

As I was saying before I ran down the rabbit trails, I made a list of things to accomplish this weekend, and one of them was NOT learning a lesson about my quirky behaviors, psychoses, and syndromes.  And understanding WHY I want new things and love to clean does NOT make it any easier that I can’t afford new things.  Instead, I’ll dull my sensitivities and patch my brokenness with liquor and catharsis.  I’ve got the catharsis out of the way.  And I hear my coffee pot calling me.  I made plain coffee in the morning, but I made weird coffee in the afternoon.  It’s butterscotch flavored.  It mixes really really well with scotch, which kind of makes sense to me somehow.

Mum got me the butterscotch coffee, and I tried it without scotch first.  I really don’t care much for flavored coffee.  I like my coffee hot and black and tall and Kenyan.  This one is Colombian, not a bad coffee but with the added flavor, not very tasty.  Until I added scotch. Yum.  So I opened the butterscotch at Christmas and it was brand new.  I got a little thrill again just thinking about it.  Smells good.  Tastes OK, but not a personal favorite.  So today I added scotch, out of the brand new bottle I opened some time ago and have been savoring slowly.  It’s delicious.

I’m going to have a cup, and then I might get back to my list.  I’m expecting to be goaded into a few more things than I would have accomplished.  I’ve already added making bread dough, so there’s that.  The bread should be done by dinner.